• Nov 4th 2009 at 11:00PM
  • 79
Chrysler LLC has concluded its 7-hour-long marathon presentation of the business plan (read our Live Blog of the event here) that will see it through the next five years, and what we're left with is a little confusing. It's almost as if the automaker's new executives, amidst apologizing for the company's past and promising to do better in the future, were hoping we'd all fall asleep or get lost in the details. Well, we didn't fall asleep or get lost, and below you'll find a breakdown of what we learned while spending the day hip deep in Chrysler's future product. You can also check out the slides from Chrysler's presentation relating to product in the gallery below.

Models On Their Way Out
New Models That Are Coming
  • Jeep compact SUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, may be Panda)
  • Jeep small CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, replaces Patriot and Compass)
  • Jeep Liberty (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Chrysler compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat, replaces PT Cruiser)
  • Chrysler Sebring (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler midsize CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Ram midsize unibody pickup (under consideration for 2011)
  • Ram large and small commercial van (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge Avenger (major update 2010, replaced by Fiat product 2013)
  • Dodge full-size CUV (2010)
  • Fiat 500 (late 2010, convertible 2011, Abarth 2012)

Models Staying, Receiving Attention
  • Jeep Wrangler Diesel (2010/2011, not confirmed for U.S. market... yet)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler 300C (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler Town & Country (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
  • Ram 1500/2500/3500 (major update 2012)
  • Dodge Journey (major update 2010)
  • Dodge Nitro (major update 2011 under consideration)
  • Dodge Challenger (refresh 2011)
  • Dodge Charger (all-new 2010)
  • Dodge Grand Caravan (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
UPDATE: You can dive whole hog into the plan yourself at Chrysler's website.
Does Chrysler have the right product plan for the next 5 years?
Yes, this plan will work. 1547 (18.5%)
Maybe, if it can last until Fiat models arrive in 2-3 years. 4093 (48.8%)
No, too little too late and Fiat models too far off. 2739 (32.7%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler is done for hopefully SAIC or Chery can grab Chrysler for cheap and re badge their cars as Chrysler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am just in awe of your postings, with such well thought out and intelligent analysis of the situation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Being that I have a Long fondness for Fiat and when they left got reacquainted with Dodge I do want these "strange bedfellows" to Succeed! That '71 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe was Terrific and I look forward to pehaps buying another new Fiat in the near future! However, some of the "Plan" I do not care for - seeing the Patriot and Liberty "go" is a mistake! "Mr. Spumone" should reconsider with - minor exterior designs and new Fiat engine and drivetrain underpinnings! These 2 Jeeps though one newer to the "family" (to me, along with the classic Wrangler) are the heart and soul of Jeep! Liking fiat is one thing, but, frankly that Panda and that other "funky" looking (forgot the name) similar thing LOOK LIKE CRAP! I can just see it now - Jeep(ish) Panda (in sheeps clothing)! Panda's need to stay in China (and in their natural habitat)! That 3 door Punto looks Great and would compete VERY WELL against the other 3 door hatchack "look-a-likes" - the Vw's, Kia's, Suzuki's, Honda's, and Toyota's already in USA. I now drive a 2003 Ram 1500 Regular Cab. Looks like they reverted back to that Cramped Regular Cab (NO room behind the seats) and that sucks - that is preventing me from considering the New 2010 Ram! I will stop rambling but since it is difficult to email Chrysler and get a response MAYBE someone their will read this for what its worth ! ?.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With most models receiving major refreshes in 2010, I think it should suffice until they can build new small and mid-size vehicles on Fiat platforms. I just hope that most of the Fiat based vehicles look like Chryslers (American), and not just re-badged Fiats. The new 300/Charger, Grand Cherokee/Durango, and Ram, with continued success of the minivans, should be enough to keep the company going (and maybe even profitable) until they can start building small vehicles that are up to industry standards.

      This isn't all that much of a departure from the way Chrysler has been doing business for the last 10 years or so. Instead of using Mitsubishi platforms for some smaller models, they will now use Fiat platforms. Chrysler's engineering base has been decimated by the last two owners, and they no longer have the expertise to build small car platforms on their own.

      Post Daimler-Benz Chrysler also seems to be understanding quality interiors, as evidenced by the new Ram and upcoming Grand Cherokee. I hope that new interior attention to detail also translates to the new small and mid-size vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they can back up the effort with proper marketing, I'm sure their market share will climb. Otherwise? Forget it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They could very well make it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I understand the fate of the Compass, but why the Patriot ? I think that it is a decent vehicle that serves well as entry level Jeep. Does it sell in decent volume ??
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because the CompA$$, Caliber & Patriot all share the same platform. The CC pair have been "sales" only after heavy discounts & rebates. The Patriot is the prettiest of the ugly sisters... but makes no business sense to keep if you are redesigning this segment.

        Why would Chrysler attempt to sell the Patriot as "new" in 2012? Its model life would be 6 years old (its design life even older...) on a platform that NEVER achieved high ratings when it was NEW. That's why its getting killed!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesel Wrangler? I will believe it when I see it.

      If they make it happen I will buy one, just like I've been saying for 20 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So nothing original stays save for the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Charger/300, Caravan/Town & Country? I hope the new Fiats get some of the Chrysler interior niceties still, like the Stow N' Go seats and MyGig. And what happens to SRT?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Pretty much, I noticed that as well.

        Makes sense though, they are keeping the products that Chrysler does well with and replacing the rest with Fiats. Few will argue that the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, 300/Charger, Ram P/U, and minivans are their strongest products. Honestly though, outside of those, they don't have much to brag about.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why retain nameplates like Sebring that are synonymous with crap?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I won't let you get my hopes up again Autoblog! You promised the ugly-as-sin PT was canceled before!

      After having a few good friends own Chrysler products...er crap, it is clear to me the only way Chrysler will be good again is if it is gutted and replaced 100% with Fiat. I'm quite concerned that Fiat will actually hurt their own reputation through this.

      (P.S. I'm an equal opportunity car lover despite the name, Chevy, Subaru, Toyota and Ford make up the stables...)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know I am in the minority, but I really wish they would have given the Jeep Commander another shot, and for once, a fair one. I think this vehicle had a lot of potential. It's styling was not the problem. The problem was that it did not have a decent V6 option and it did not have as much interior space as you would expect (especially behind the second row). Both of those issues would have been addressed if they had made another attempt using the 2011 Grand Cherokee chassis. The Pentastar V6 would have given it a great V6 with plenty of power and acceptable fuel economy, the independent rear suspension would have given it a usable 3rd seat and the larger chassis would have put the overall interior volume much closer to that of it's competitors. Such a vehicle would have sold fine, in my opinion. Even a Hemi V8 version could be made to be acceptable on fuel if they could eventually find a 7 or 8-speed replacement for their current 5-speed auto (which is more like a 4-speed anyway, since 3rd gear is 1:1 and 4/5 are both overdrive gears). It could have been an iconic vehicle similar to the Grand Wagoneers of the past, if handled well.

      The other missed opportunity was not using this vehicle (or the Grand Cherokee) as their first application of their otherwise great 2-mode hybrid system. A 5-year old could have figured out that the Aspen/Durango were like putting lipstick on a pig. Few were going to spend mid-40s on such vehicles. Jeep buyers tend to be more affluent, for one, as the brand still carries more cache than Dodge or Chrysler. Since the investment in hybrid technology takes a little more time to pay off, it would have been a much easier sell to Jeep consumers, in my opinion, because I believe they hold onto their cars longer, knowing that Jeep styling will always remain very consistent. Few probably even noticed the final EPA numbers releases on the Aspen/Durango were an impressive 20/22 (for 4wd). Even if the inferior aerodynamics (guessing) of the Commander knocked an mpg off the highway number, I would have bought such a vehicle in a heartbeat. A Jeep with it's usual off-road capabilities that never goes out of style, seats 5 adults and 2 kids in a pinch, and putzes around town for the suburban moms at 20mpg? Sign me up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No disagreements that it wasn't a good design for a 7-seater. However, the chassis itself wasn't really designed to support a 7-seater in the first place. The decision to build the Commander from the Grand Cherokee chassis came a few years after they started working on the current generation Grand Cherokee. They did what they could to compensate by extending the length behind the rear wheels and raising the rooftline, but it clearly wasn't enough. So, it was always a flawed design in that respect, so that is why I think they Commander is getting shortchanged.

        Yeah, the 4.7 in the earlier years was anemic (something like 230hp if I recall), but at least they got that up to 310 in '08. Regardless, none of the powertrains offered any compromise between power and efficiency like the Pentastar V6 would.

        The Pentastar V6 is ready too go - it's too bad they aren't using that for the '10 model year. It would have given a better indication of what the sales could have been. Jeep fans are extremely loyal. They were all upset when the Cherokee went away, and bringing back the styling was conceptually a good idea. The original Cherokee was much smaller anyway, so I don't think room was the #1 priority for those consumers anyway. However, they just didn't come close to offering a powertrain combination that in any way replicated the combination of performance and efficiency of the original Cherokee. That, in my opinion, was the #1 reason sales lagged.

        In any case, my main point is that all of the concerns would have been addressed if they built another Commander off of the 2011 Grand Cherokee. This was designed from the ground-up to support a 3rd-row variant (the updated Dodge Durango). The longer wheelbase, width and track would have given it a lot more interior room. Plus, the move to an independent rear suspension would have greatly increased the legroom in the 3rd row as well as the cargo room by lowering the floor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I kind of disagree. I actually was selling Chryslers and Jeeps when the Commander was released so I have a fair amount of experience with them.

        As a 7-seater, they are horrible. The 3rd row is cramped and uncomfortable and when the 3rd row is up, there is virtually no cargo room behind the seats. It's really amazing that they actually thought that design would work. If you are carrying 7 people in the Commander, you'd better hope none of them has anything larger than a purse with them or you're going to have some issues.

        As a 2-row SUV, it wasn't bad, I actually liked them over the Grand Cherokees in some cases. But, it was built to be a 3-row SUV and I think it failed greatly at that considering the much more useful designs of competitors.

        Overall, I liked the design trying to mimic the Cherokees of old, but the interior layout really killed it. I will agree that the base V6 was weak as well, but that was true across the board with the exception of the Hemi. The 4.7L V8 was also on the low end power-wise compared to competitors.

        Ironically, the only one I ever sold was actually once I had left(I didn't work there very long) and I was talking to a co-worker about Jeeps. She had actually wanted a Wrangler, but then she saw the Commander and I told her about it. She showed up a few days later in a V6 base model that she loved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe that adding small models from Fiat design is good, but if they do so they should revive the Plymouth brand and do as they suggested make the Chrysler a premium auto. They should also keep converibles in both the Chrysler and Dodge lines but different. Like the Viper they present a good images in the showrooms. While we are talking about brands, the Desoto name was designed originally to appeal to the Latin market which I believe applies even more so today in North America and Fiat,s mareketing in South America. just for the record I have restored my grandfather's 1948 Desoto, I also own 55, 68,04 Dodges plus a 57 Chrysler. 3 of the engines are Hemis & I love them
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