The first 2013 SRT Viper rolls off the assembly lineEnlarge Photo
If that’s the bad news, here’s the good: the new Viper, released last year, is already scheduled for its first refresh in 2015, which speaks to SRT’s focus on its halo sports car. Three other vehicles (likely the Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300) will get refreshed SRT versions in 2014.
Automotive News (subscription required) tells us that the Jeep brand won’t see the Fiat-built “baby Jeep” until 2014, which is a year later than previously projected. Look for two new Jeep-built models to debut in 2015, followed by refreshes of two existing products in 2016.
Chrysler will refresh a model for 2014, and word is that it will be the 200 sedan, long overdue for a new design direction and change in platform. Three new yet-to-be-named Chrysler models appear in 2015, including one moved forward from its previously scheduled 2014 introduction.
Alfa Romeo still has one model on the list for 2013 (likely the 4C), but nothing else in the pipeline until the scheduled introduction of four models in 2015 (probably including the new Mazda-built Alfa Romeo Spider). Call us crazy, but that hardly seems like an effective way to relaunch a brand in the United States.
As for Dodge, look for Chrysler’s mainstream brand to get three refreshed models in the next two years (one in 2013, two in 2014). There’s reportedly a platform change for an existing model in 2015, followed by the introduction of a new model in 2016.
What does it all mean? In the big picture, we suppose that Fiat is trying to reduce spending on new products as it shores up existing brands worldwide. That’s a sensible strategy, and it shows that Fiat and Chrysler are taking a cautious approach to new product introductions until the global economy improves.