Chrysler showrooms could soon close their doors for the final time, as the merger between Fiat Chrysler Group (FCA) and Peugeot Group, dubbed Stellantis, looks to cut costs and streamline its global portfolio.
According to publications Associate Press and Automotive News, Chrysler is near the top of the list of brands to face the chopping block under the Stellantis deal, which will operate no fewer than 14 brands once the merger between the companies is completed by January 16, 2021.
Chrysler's line-up consists of just three vehicles: the 300 large sedan, and the Pacifica and Voyager people movers. Only the 300 is sold in Australia, while the Voyager is merely a rebadged, lower-spec version of the Pacifica – the latter on sale since 2017.
The brand's portfolio has shrunken considerably in recent years, with the mid-size 200 sedan axed in 2017, and the brand departing its final European markets, the UK and Ireland, the same year, taking with it Chrysler-badged versions of the Lancia Ypsilon and defunct Delta hatchbacks.
With no new models confirmed to be in the pipeline, Chrysler sales in the US were down 13 per cent in 2020 – a surprising result, given the wider FCA group saw a 17 per cent decline – while the brand's Australian arm reported a 25.3 per cent drop, likely not assisted by recent price rises and range cuts for its sole ageing model.
Above: Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid.
Also set to be axed is the Lancia brand, limited since 2016 to a single model, the Fiat 500-based Ypsilon hatch, sold only in its home market of Italy. Sales of the brand are down 36 per cent in 2020.
Other aspects of the Stellantis business also in doubt, according to the publications, include Dodge's high-performance, V8-powered models, which could see the axe under stricter CAFE emissions regulations to be introduced under the Biden presidential administration.
The future of French luxury offshoot DS could also be placed under the microscope as, despite being profitable, the brand's models sell in low volumes, and enjoy limited market recognition and brand presence outside their home market.
It's expected Stellantis will officially announce its plans for the future of its brands later this month, once the merger between FCA and PSA is completed later this month – the final stage of the transition, following company shareholders' successful go-ahead on Monday to merge the two conglomerates.