The last time the Chrysler Group was part of another automaker, we saw the death of the Plymouth brand. Now, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in place of DaimlerChrysler, we could see more brands shuttered. At least, that's what analysts think FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne should do.

With Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and the Fiat commercial unit, there are some analysts that think that there are too many mouths to feed at FCA, and that the levels of growth Marchionne is aiming for will only be possible if some brands are cut loose. This isn't the first time Marchionne's ambitious growth plan has seen outside criticism.

"If it was not for Brazil, where it is the number one brand, Marchionne should simply kill the Fiat brand," Phillipe Houchois of London-based UBS, told Automotive News. A London-based consultant at International Strategy & Investment, meanwhile, thinks that the American side of the equation needs pruning, telling AN "it could be Dodge or Chrysler, but not Dodge and Chrysler."

"The cross mixing of brands is going to destroy the fabric of the brand. A brand is a precious thing," Marchionne told AN. Considering that view, it's hard not to see the point being made the analysts.

Which of Fiat Chrysler's brands do you think should be on the chopping block? Would you rather see Chrysler or Dodge go the way of Lancia? Should the Fiat brand just be folded, despite its strong success in the burgeoning Brazilian market? Have your say in Comments.


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  • 118 Comments
      jz78817
      • 6 Months Ago
      If everyone did what analysts said, nobody would bother making anything. "Analyst" = "overpaid guesser."
        JaredN
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jz78817
        Analysts are like consultants -- often wrong but never in doubt. ;)
          jz78817
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JaredN
          like the famous Demotivator says: "CONSULTING: If you're not part of the solution, there's good money to be made by prolonging the problem."
      Bill Burke
      • 6 Months Ago
      Automotive News may be attempting to offer good advice, but their advice may lack insight, and dare I say, "passion". It is true that some folks believe that, bottom line, automobile manufacturing is a business and should be treated completely as one. But the Automotive business is a business of passion, a business of deeply held convictions and loyalties, a business of culture and history, a business of pride and exciting competition, a business that Automotive News has remarkably misunderstood in it's recommendations. FCA is struggling to find a clear identity and mix of models and brands from a rich portfolio of very special vehicles. A rush to judgement, before FCA is given the necessary opportunity to "sort things out" would be a gross mistake and a mismanagement of a business that is more than just a dispassionate and cold business entity and Marchionne understands this clearly. Any suggestion that either Dodge or Chrysler be dropped is pure nonsense. Maybe Ram goes back under Dodge. SRT has already been folded back into the other brands, but as they are right now, Chrysler Group has three solid brands, each with a passionate and loyal customer base, that stand distinct and unique, with a clearly defined and healthy demographic market niche. Look elsewhere Automotive News, you are showing your ignorance of the most important element in the automotive business, passion. Passion is what is needed in this process, not the repeating of cold hard textbook business jargon that lacks vision and some emotion. Indeed, there will be some consolidation at FCA as suggested, but Fiat, Chrysler and Dodge will remain, because they are each, in their own way, brands that evoke passion. Automotive News, check your pulse.
        JaredN
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        "Chrysler Group has three solid brands" Make that two brands: Chrysler and Dodge (which includes Dodge trucks).
          Bill Burke
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JaredN
          Jeep ?
          jz78817
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JaredN
          yeah, I never understood why they thought spinning Ram off into a separate brand was a good idea, and I was really scratching my head when they tried to make SRT its own thing. Now that the SRT insanity is over, I think they'll come to their senses and fold Ram back into Dodge. I guess maybe they thought making Ram its own entity would make them "stand out" from the pack, but Ford doesn't need to make F-150 its own brand to basically own the market. The Ram pickups are good trucks on their own merits.
          JaredN
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JaredN
          Yup, forgot about Jeep. Jeep has a very strong brand.
      express2day
      • 6 Months Ago
      Although separating trucks out of Dodge as a new Ram brand seemed unnecessary, it was far less impractical than creating SRT as a separate brand. I'm glad SRT was folded back into Dodge. Perhaps Ram should be too? Otherwise, I don't see any need for changes at this point. Analysts smanalysts!!!!
      mdrieling
      • 6 Months Ago
      The problem with this is that all the brands have such a rich history that to kill off any of them would be wrong. If you kill off brands you'd need to drop the models they build otherwise there would be no net savings. To be a full model line-up if you would need all the models that Dodge, Chrysler, and Ram build. Why kill the brands, just eliminate the overlap. Leave Ferrari out of this mess because any dilution of the brand would hurt the brand value. The same goes for the European side of FCA. Fiat is a full brand and Alfa and Maserati are the sporty side of the equation. Yes you could eliminate them all and have just two brands Fiat and Chrysler but why? Why would you want to eliminate the history of several brands and force the alienation of their loyal customers.
        Terry Actill
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mdrieling
        But there really is nothing worth keeping under the Chrysler brand name. It's over. History doesn't sell. Good product sells. Pontiac and Oldsmobile were examples of that.
      Feurig
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't really think they need to get rid of any brands. I do think they need to keep their lineup lean. They need to differentiate Chrysler and Dodge to make sure they aren't "Dodgler" vehicles that fill up both brands.
      rngregc
      • 6 Months Ago
      They need to put Ram and SRT back under the Dodge umbrella. Move Chrysler upmarket entry level luxury. Fiat and Alfa should be sold under the same dealership. Ferarri and Maserati should be separate since Ferarri is low volume and Maserati is set to become higher volume with the upcoming SUV (upper level luxury). Keep Jeep by itself.
      mylexicon
      • 6 Months Ago
      Ford/Lincoln, Chevrolet/Caddillac, Dodge/Chrysler, VW/Audi, Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura FCA doesn't need to ditch Dodge or Chrysler. The brands need to be more clearly differentiated.
        Jake
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mylexicon
        Except that Chrysler is more of the Buick or Mercury to Chevy or Ford. They have not taken it up-market.
        Brian
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mylexicon
        So Caddillac = Audi = Lexus = Chrysler? I don't think anyone will ever be make that association, no matter how much Dodge and Chrysler are differentiated. But maybe i'm wrong?
      Apex
      • 6 Months Ago
      They just did, SRT is consolodated into Dodge. I wasn't a fan of Ram being separate brand, but it's done, no need to go back, just as long as Dodge sees some new unique product. As mentioned, Lancia will die on the Vine, so I think FCA is down to the Brands it needs and can manage as is.
      Maderadura
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't understand why Ram is a stand alone brand. If you intend to keep Dodge, fold it back in and if you aren't, kill it already. It is ok to lose Dodge. Chrysler can carry the mainstream Toyota/Ford/VW killers. That leaves Chrysler/ Ram/Jeep in the same showroom. I think Fiat has potential as small fuel efficient vehicles will gain popularity and since Alfa is returning I see a nice Buick/GMC type synergy that can work there. BUT, I am not sure I understand the Ferrari/Maserati/Alfa thing. I don't understand how all of those premium brands fit together. Think someone might like to have Maserati?
        Feurig
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Maderadura
        Because I believe Ram also includes heavy duty trucks. It's basically a commercial unit of Dodge which makes sense because dealers want to separate fleet units from their normal retail operations. It's why there are MB dealers and Sprinter dealers, and things like that.
          JaredN
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Feurig
          So? Ford has medium duty commercial vehicles as well.
        Losferatu
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Maderadura
        A 300% sales increase in Maserati sales this year answers your last question.
      Chris
      • 6 Months Ago
      Financial analysts are not always right.
      to your email L
      • 6 Months Ago
      Bring back the AMC brands/models.
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      As others have said,just fold Ram back into Dodge.
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