2009 Dodge Ram
General Motors came out of bankruptcy swinging, putting Bob Lutz on the front line of a full-court press junket to promote GM's new vehicles and new technology. We haven't heard much from the other restructured kid on the block, Chrysler, or its new Italian spouse; however, some interesting news is trickling through the gossip pipeline. and if the sources are correct, Chrysler will soon spin off the Dodge Ram into its own line of pickups, vans, and SUVs.
The dish comes via Edmunds, which tends to be pretty reliable on these things. And although the logic of restructuring suggests that ditching brands, not adding them, is what struggling companies ought to do, building a rugged product line on the back of the Ram label does make a good bit of sense. For one thing, it would allow the Chrysler brand to continue its move toward luxury vehicles (on par with Cadillac); it would allow Dodge to move toward the performance and of the spectrum (borrowing technology from its new sister brand, Alfa Romeo); and it would allow Jeep to...continue being Jeep (which is, quite frankly, what it's been needing to do for some time). It would also leave plenty of room for Fiat, which may launch the 500 and other vehicles under its own marque and serve as Chrysler's "citycar" unit (perhaps on par with MINI).
At the moment, however, all this remains rumor and speculation. We'll know more when Fiat announces its full plans for Chrysler in mid-November.