“Today is much more than a new chapter. We are writing an entire new book,” Marchionne told reporters during a day of presentations in Detroit. With Chrysler’s broadened line-up spearheading the announcements, the joint venture plans to make a belated push into Asia with a comprehensive revamp across all marques.
Chrysler currently only offers three nameplates in the US: the 200 and 300 sedans and the Town & Country minivan (Grand Voyager in Australia). That’s all set to change under the new plan though with the addition of a compact sedan – the 100 – in 2016, a large crossover SUV in 2017 and a mid-sized crossover SUV in 2018.
The Chrysler Town & Country will survive as the Fiat Chrysler group’s only minivan when it cops a major redesign in 2016 – a plan that has been pushed back a full 12 months further than originally scheduled. Marchionne announced that at the same time, the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan would be discontinued.
Marchionne also stated that Fiat Chrysler would expand its electrification research and design work to include a new plug-in hybrid version of the Town & Country minivan as well as a plug-in large SUV crossover vehicle in 2017.
In an ambitious move, Chrysler is planning to grow from its 2013 sales figure of 350,000 vehicles to more than double that with a figure of 800,000 units in 2018.