CEO Sergio Marchionne talks about the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart being bad investments by FCA. This was during a press statement at the Detroit Auto Show following the demise of both vehicles.
Marchionne and the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. There's no doubt that the demand in the US market for small vehicles is declining. There are a variety of reasons why the shift in demand such as low fuel prices gives more buying power to consumers for bigger vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks. Consumers now want more power and space in their vehicles and a compact car is not an option. The industry for sedans and compact cars is shrinking and it is not anyone's fault.
"I can tell you right now that both the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart, as great products as they were, were the least financially rewarding enterprises that we've carried out inside FCA in the last eight years," Marchionne said. He proceeded to conclude his statement by saying that he doesn't know of any other investment that was as bad as two recently discontinued vehicles.
Marchionne's statement was in response to a question about if FCA's decision to drop mid-sized car development and to focus on bigger vehicles was imperceptive. He believes that the market for bigger and more powerful vehicles will get stronger. Focusing on mid-sized cars would require a lot of investment which could possibly not pay off.
The 200 and Dart were both amazing vehicles in their own right. However, they are not without their own shortcomings. The Chrysler 200 was a powerful sedan with solid handling but didn't offer that much room. The Dodge Dart, on the other hand, was a spacious vehicle and had an incredible infotainment system but, unfortunately, fell short of great driving performance.