Over the course of the last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has purportedly delayed the redesign or release of at least 12 current or new vehicles in North America.
Citing suppliers familiar with the company’s plans, Reuters is reporting that the large number of delays could possibly stem from the automaker’s desire to defer billions of dollars in investments while it searches for a new partner. FCA chief exec Sergio Marchionne has said in the past that he favors consolidation, which would save on capital put toward the creation of overlapping engines and vehicles. Last-minute design and engineering changes are also among suspected explanations for the delays.
The list of program postponements mentioned by the sources is long. It includes the redesigned Ram 1500 delayed from mid-2017 to November 2017, the redesigned Jeep Wrangler delayed from early 2017 to July 2017, the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee delayed from 2017 to 2018, the Jeep Patriot/Compass replacement delayed six months from an original launch date in the spring of 2016, the redesigned Dodge Dart delayed from mid-2016 to 2019/20, the redesigned Charger delayed from mid/late 2018 to 2019, the redesigned Challenger delayed from mid/late 2018 to 2019, and the redesigned Chrysler 300 delayed from mid/late 2018 to 2019.
The supposed delays contradict a five-year, $50 billion plan outlined in May of last year, which also included boosting annual global sales to 7 million by 2018, up from 4.75 million sold last year.
FCA declined to comment on specific model delays, instead telling Reuters that the 2014 plan was “a five-year snapshot” of the company’s strategy going forward.
“Those plans need to be flexible and fluid, with the potential to add some vehicles, pull some forward and extend the life cycle of others. We look at these programs on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis,” the company said.
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Delayed The Redesign Of A Dozen Vehicles originally appeared on topspeed.com on Thursday, 4 June 2015 14:00 EST.