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Discussion Starter · #261 ·
SUVs but what about iconic Dodge and Chrysler models?

2/11/2021


Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares laid out a plan that’s good news for the development of pickups and SUVs at the company’s Auburn Hills tech center Wednesday, but the future of other iconic Chrysler and Dodge vehicles is an open question.

“We expect pickups and SUVs to be developed in the Auburn Hills,” Tavares said following a visit to the former Fiat Chrysler’s Detroit manufacturing complex. The Oakland County tech center also will develop electrified versions of those vehicles, he said.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares (left) and Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant manager Michael Brieda inspect the steel body of a Jeep® Grand Cherokee L built at the facility as part of a tour on Feb. 9, 2021. Tavares and other members of the Stellantis leadership team visited Mack and the Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson plant, home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, to meet with employees and get a firsthand look at those operations, marking their first North American visit since the Stellantis merger was completed last month.


Beloved, but slower-selling models like the Chrysler 300 sedan, Chrysler Pacifica minivan, Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe were not mentioned.

Auburn Hills engineers’ main job will be developing pickups and SUVs.

That’s the most important thing for the U.S. role in the newly created Stellantis. By engineering and building many of the company’s most profitable and best-selling vehicles, Auburn Hills, and thereby Detroit, is assured a significant voice in investment, management and corporate strategy for what just became the biggest car company in town.

The savior of lost brands?
Just as they did under FCA, DaimlerChrysler and when Chrysler was independent, sales of Jeeps and pickups will determine Auburn Hills’ fate, and the company’s role in Michigan and America’s economies.

That doesn’t make the 300, Pacifica, Charger and Challenger disposable, though.

2021 Chrysler 300S


Each is, in its own way, a legitimate icon. Chrysler invented the minivan, and has always built one of the best, persisting as competitors dropped out of the market. The 300 reinvented the exciting American sedan in 2005.

Dodge has built a unique brand image around the Charger and Challenger’s styling bravado, performance and value. Who would’ve thought a brand could get away with commercials showing George Washington leading a charge at the wheel of a muscle car? Who wouldn’t hesitate before walking away from that image?

Not Carlos Tavares.

One of Stellantis’s early surprises has been the CEO’s enthusiasm for brands conventional wisdom said were doomed. He breathed new life into Opel after acquiring the German brand from General Motors. Now he speaks almost rapturously about Chrysler: “We’re very keen on supporting a Chrysler brand rebound,” adding Stellantis values and loves the brand. You don’t hear a lot of that. Trust me.

“We are going to fully use the tech center in Auburn Hills to engineer all products focused on the U.S. market,” Tavares said.

What’s next for 300, Charger, Pacifica?
That doesn’t mean the Pacifica or the big sedans and coupes are going away, IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley said.

“Stellantis’ mission is not to slice and dice the brands and make them smaller,” Brinley said. “The goal is to do things better, not to do less.”

That means the long-awaited next-gen 300/Charger et al. are likely still coming on a modified version of the outstanding Giorgio platform FCA developed for the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio sport sedan and SUV. That should keep the iconic names and their performance profile alive for at least another five or six years. Beyond that, the survival of modern muscle cars like that will depend on advances in electric vehicles and whether Alfa Romeo can justify its survival after the middle of the decade.

Similarly, developing a new Pacifica should be relatively easy. Peugeot has built large front-wheel-drive cars and minivans that use the same kind of underpinnings as Chrysler minivans for decades.

“Where the engineering of a modular platform took place won’t be relevant,” Brinley said. “Stellantis’s scale can allow them to provide each brand with what it needs more efficiently.”

It took years for Chrysler’s model line to dwindle to its current paltry state. Rebuilding it will take years, too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
Reborn Ram Dakota Truck Reportedly Canceled
by Jay Traugott 02/21/2021

Stellantis has other plans in mind?


Ever since the arrival of the reborn Ford Ranger there have been reports here and there Ram also intends to re-enter the midsize truck segment. The Dodge Dakota was discontinued in 2011 following a nearly 25-year production run, and Ram, now the official truck brand, wants in on the action and profit. The Jeep Gladiator is officially classified as a midsize, but its styling is not for everyone. A more conventional design offering would only broaden Ram's appeal. Or would it?
GM Authority is now claiming "sources from within Stellantis" indicate the Dakota project has been canceled. No other details have been provided, so this should be taken with a grain of salt for the time being.

 

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Discussion Starter · #263 ·
Grand Wagoneer | Grand Adventures



March 4, 2021 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The return of an icon! The all-new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will make their official debut at noon EST on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

The 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer return as a premium extension of the Jeep® brand and mark the rebirth of an American icon while continuing their legacy as the first modern SUVs. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer build on a rich heritage of premium American craftsmanship, heritage and refinement while offering a new level of comfort, legendary 4x4 capability and customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #264 ·
Nearly all Stellantis nameplates will have electrified option by 2025

4/15/2021


By 2025, 96% of nameplates from Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Fiat and other Stellantis NV brands in the United States will have electrified options with all models offering a fully battery-electric option by 2030, CEO Carlos Tavares said Thursday during the company's first general shareholder meeting.


The details are an early glimpse into how the newly created world's fourth-largest automaker expects to tackle "the No. 1 challenge of the automotive industry," Tavares said. The company was created in January to generate the funds and scale to compete in an industry quickly adopting zero-emission technology in the face of growing demand and government mandates.

"This is what we are going to deliver to the market," Tavares said during the meeting, held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Please recognize we are now accelerating this electrification move, and please recognize we are perfectly on-time and ready to deliver on the zero-emission mobility expectations for the markets in which we operate."
In 2021 alone, Stellantis expects to triple its worldwide electrified vehicle sales to more than 400,000 from sales made by its predecessors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and French automaker PSA Groupe. Stellantis is adding 10 new models this year for a total of 39 electrified nameplates. The company has more than 110 nameplates across its 14 brands.


Fiat Chrysler had been seen as a laggard in the EV space. Between 2018 and 2020, the Italian-American automaker spent $26.8 billion (22.4 billion euros) on product development and production in electrification, Giorgio Fossati, Stellantis' general counsel, said Thursday.
The company in the United States currently offers the plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan and recently launched the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid SUV. An electrified version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV is coming later this year.

"They need to provide some details on how they are going to migrate the North American product to electrification besides plug-in hybrids," said Sam Abuelsamid, e-mobility for market research firm Guidehouse Inc. "We've seen no details of that plan."

Underlying Stellantis' plans are four new global battery-electric platforms, including three for passenger cars and one for large SUVs and pickup trucks set to debut in 2024 with no less than 310 miles (500 kilometers) of range, Tavares said. BEV passenger car platforms will begin to be introduced for medium and large cars in 2023 with more than 435 miles (700 kilometers) and 497 miles (800 kilometers) of range, respectively. The platform for small cars should be launched in 2026 with more than 310 miles (500 kilometers) of range.

"Those platforms are sized to deliver no less than the numbers we have just mentioned, which will address what we call the range anxiety issue of electric vehicles," Tavares said. "I think this is quite a breakthrough."

Converging onto just the four platforms is expected to contribute a third of the forecast $5.9 billion in cost savings created from the merger that closed in January. That should facilitate the company's U.S. goals as well as have 98% of its European nameplates with a plug-in hybrid or pure EV option by 2025.

Such "LEV" options should represent 31% of the automaker's U.S. sales by then, up from 4% in 2021, and 35% by 2030, Tavares said. The company expects this will be above the market average mix of 30%.

In Europe, LEVs should represent 38% of Stellantis sales by 2025, up from 14% in 2021, and 70% by 2030 compared to a predicted market average of 60%.

For comparison, General Motors Co. said in November that 40% of its new U.S. vehicle entries will be fully battery-electric by the end of 2025 and has set a target of 2035 for when all of its vehicles will be fully electric — such a deadline that Tavares has refrained from setting for Stellantis.

Tavares also underscored Stellantis' commitment to control around 80% of battery-electric vehicles' value, which is more than the automaker has of vehicles it makes with internal combustion engines. The concept borrows from the first automotive century's golden age when automakers controlled key parts of assembly and component production in what the industry called "vertical integration." Stellantis will share more details on batteries and its strategy during an electrification day on July 8.

PSA previously had developed joint ventures that will continue under Stellantis for the production of battery cells and modules by the end of 2023, electric motors by the end of 2022 and transmissions for hybrids by the end of 2022 for Europe. Stellantis itself plans to produce battery management systems by the end of next year as well as create e-powertrain and energy management software.

The automaker has not announced plans for a battery plant in the United States, but Tavares said work is moving quickly on such projects. By 2025, the company expects to have capacity for 130 gigawatt-hours and 250 gigawatt-hours by 2050.

Its Automotive Cells Co. joint venture with French oil and gas company Total SE and its Saft Groupe S.A. battery company will begin battery production at gigafactories in Douvrin, France, by the end of 2023, and Kaiserslautern, Germany, by the end of 2025. They are expected to provide 50 gigawatt-hours of capacity.

"Not only do we want to fast forward on this electrification transformation because we believe that our purpose is to deliver a safe, clean and affordable mobility to the citizens of the communities in which we operate," Tavares said. "We are not only now going to accelerate, but we are going to do this in an efficient way that is not wasting the resources of the company."
Stellantis isn’t alone. GM is working with LG Chem Ltd. on a $2.3 billion battery cell plant in northeast Ohio set for completion by 2022. Volkswagen AG last month said a joint venture with Northvolt AB will produce batteries in Germany by early 2024. Ford is examining the possibility of manufacturing its own batteries, too.

Also during the annual general meeting, 99.6% of shareholders voted in favor of a $1.2 billion extraordinary distribution in lieu of an ordinary annual dividend that has been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments of 38 cents (0.32 euro) per share will be made April 28.
Holding companies representing Stellantis' largest shareholders, the Agnelli family of Italy and Peugeot family of France, shared in a joint statement that they signed a consultation agreement this week "aimed at strengthening the relations between the Agnelli and Peugeot families and to provide support for Stellantis in its long-term success."

The understanding allows Exor NV, which holds a 14.4% stake in Stellantis, and Peugeot 1810, which has a 7.2% share, to exchange views, though it leaves them free to vote as they wish.

 

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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
Stellantis CEO commits Jeep, Ram pickup-maker to big EV targets

04/16/2021


The CEO of Stellantis, maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups, told the company’s shareholders Thursday to expect a major boost in the number of pure battery-electric vehicle models it offers and in the percentage of low-emission vehicles it sells over the next nine years.

Carlos Tavares, who leads the company that resulted from the merger in January of Peugeot maker PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, offered a portrait of an entity committed to an electrified future, particularly in its two most important markets, Europe and the United States. He spoke during the merged company's first annual general meeting for shareholders.

Tavares committed to increasing the share of low-emission vehicles the company sells in Europe from 14% in 2021 to 70% in 2030 and in the United States from 4% in 2021 to 35% in 2030. Those increases would be paired with a plan to boost the number of nameplates with low-emission vehicle offerings to 98% in Europe by 2025 and 96% in the United States by then. Low-emission vehicles include both plug-in electric hybrids and pure battery-electrics.

Tavares said the company would triple its low-emission vehicle sales this year compared with 2020 to more than 400,000 vehicles.

“This is what we’re going to deliver to the market. Please recognize that we are now accelerating this electrification move, and please recognize that we are perfectly on time and ready to deliver on the limited emissions or zero emissions mobility expectations of the markets in which we operate,” Tavares said.

Stellantis’ pledge to bolster its EV credentials continues the departure, particularly in messaging, from the days when the late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne actively discouraged people from buying the Fiat 500e because he said he was sick of losing money on the electric vehicle.

Fiat Chrysler had been considered a laggard in the push toward electrification but had upped its commitments in recent years. The company has developed a plug-in electric version of its Jeep Wrangler, and Mike Manley, FCA’s CEO who is now head of the Americas for Stellantis, said the company would offer an electrified Ram pickup.

While plans for the future look relatively green, the company’s present includes vehicles with a different philosophy, such as the 702-horsepower 2021 Ram TRX and its 12 mpg combined fuel economy estimate.


Still, Tavares has said the company would do its part to tackle emissions issues as it balances the costs of electrification, something he said would be helped along by the introduction of four platforms between 2023 and 2026 for battery-electric vehicles. Tavares noted that the company currently has more than 110 nameplates, and he said that developing four BEV platforms, presumably instead of many more, would help free up cash needed for EV development.

He laid out the expected driving range for each as well:

  • Small, 311 miles
  • Medium, 435 miles
  • Large, 497 miles
  • Frame (which would include large SUVs and pickups), 311 miles
These numbers, he said, would address range anxiety concerns, the worry that an EV driver might run out of electric power before reaching a destination.

In addition, Tavares said the company intends to control a larger portion of the components that go into electric vehicles, from platforms to motors to batteries. The company has battery factories planned in Germany and France and will announce more this year, including in North America, he said.

The company will offer a deeper look at its plans during Stellantis Electrification Day, currently slated for July 8.

 
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