We've all been eagerly awaiting the change at Chrysler that's certain to come with Fiat taking the helm, and with a number of Alfa Romeo and Fiat models already in the pipeline, the company is now talking brand strategy. And that's what has Chrysler's Peter Fong talking about surpassing Lincoln and Cadillac.
Pushing the Chrysler brands farther apart, with larger price and feature gaps to distinguish the Dodge from Chrysler means Dodge will be eying sportier traits, while Chrysler vehicles will move further upscale in the luxury arena. But Chrysler isn't aiming just to take on Cadillac and Lincoln--it wants to beat them.
That means pushing the Chrysler brand, "a notch above Lincoln, a notch above Cadillac," says Peter Fong, president and CEO of the brand. That will necessitate a big move up-market as Cadillac is already ahead and is progressing quickly to improve its own products and luxury status with cars like the SRX, CTS sedan, coupe and wagon and the upcoming XTS flagship.
How, exactly, Chrysler plans to do that has not been revealed. The full product plan to back up this new strategy is scheduled for release in November. Though the 200C electric vehicle revealed at this year's Detroit Auto Show isn't headed to production, it is a preview of the upcoming design language for the brand revival, so expect any new products to share some hints borrowed from that vehicle, including possible Chrysler-branded Alfa and Fiat variants.
Dodge will move further from Chrysler by focusing on offering sporty vehicles, emphasizing performance while balancing that against the new fuel economy and emissions mandates. Jeep will remain largely unchanged, though its recent focus on the more car-like smaller segments with vehicles like the Compass and Patriot will grow.
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