So apparently in Fiat-Chrysler’s new 5 year plan the small car segment that is now represented by the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 is no longer in the picture. Instead, they are focusing on a trend of small crossover vehicles and pick up trucks, as seen from their success of the Cherokee models.
FCA’s Sergio Marchionne stated that the move is due to the slump in oil prices and the American automotive landscape moving from small cars and into their Jeeps, which they are struggling to keep up with demand.
It’s the old automotive adage again: Americans don’t like small cars. Seemingly many car companies have been trying to convert this image to help counteract the steep gas prices in years past. However with today’s $2 oil and stiff market competition, especially in the ubiquitous crossover department, it is not a surprise that FCA is moving in such a direction.
This is just plain sad news because other companies will most likely follow suit. Small cars that we thought are destined for greatness might now be reserved for hypothetical discussions of ‘what could have been…’
We certainly hope that this is a huge mistake on FCA’s part and that Marchionne made this decision as a result of night terrors. The decision to retool factories to pump out production on their small crossovers may be a solution for the short term, but only time will tell if he is a genius, or just a gambler.
In the meantime we are going to imagine a Dodge Dart SRT 4, a Honda Civic Si, Chevy Cruze SS, and the Ford Fiesta ST battling it out.