Chrysler's Upcoming Product Plan Calls For Less Duplication

October 10, 2011
In an effort to reduce product overlap and customer confusion, Chrysler will kill off the Dodge Grand Caravan in 2013, leaving the Chrysler Town & Country as it’s sole remaining full-size minivan offering. Big changes are coming to other parts of the Chrysler portfolio as well, as CEO Sergio Marchionne looks to reduce duplication between brands.

While the Chrysler 200 sedan gets a replacement in 2013, its fraternal twin, the Dodge Avenger, gets the axe. Instead, Marchionne told Automotive News (subscription required) that a mid-size crossover, new to the product line, will be used to replace both the Grand Caravan and the Avenger.

Marchionne clearly believes in the sales potential of the crossover, since a second new crossover is planned for “after 2014,” to replace the current Dodge Journey. Details are lacking on this model, but it will be smaller than the crossover slated to replace the Grand Caravan.

For the compact segment, Dodge is expected to exhibit a new sedan at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Based on the Fiat C-Evo platform (which also underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulietta), the new compact car will also be offered in what Marchionne describes as a “sort of hatchback.”

As for subcompacts, the Fiat 500 will remain Chrysler’s sole offering for the foreseeable future, as plans for a Fiat-based Chevy Sonic competitor have been scrapped. While Canada and Mexico remain viable markets for subcompact cars, Marchionne believes that U.S. customers won’t buy them in the volumes and prices required for Chrysler to make a profit.

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