Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne already admitted that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart won’t be renewed, FCA focuses on its highly profitable Ram and Jeep brands instead of small cars. Now a new report from our colleagues at Motor Trend says that FCA is already in talks with another automaker to co-develop replacements for the 200 and Dart.
Marchionne told Motor Trend that he wants to find a partner to build small cars, “who is better at it than we are and who has got capacity available.” He affirmed that FCA wants its as-yet-unnamed partner to build the car: “We’re not going to make the car. We’re not the guys who are going to do the manufacturing of the car.”
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Fiat Chrysler wants to give up manufacturing its own compact and midsize sedans as it focuses on trucks and SUVs, with potential partners are rumored to include Nissan and Mazda. Marchionne hasn’t yet confirmed which companies FCA might work with, but told Motor Trend that discussions over the plans are in process.
“There are discussions going on now. I think we will find a solution. We continue to talk,” he said. “It’s both a technical solution and an economic one. We need to find a solution that works economically.”
Sales of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 continue to tumble, with sales down 26 and 61 percent, respectively, through the first two months of the year. Marchionne has said he sees, “a permanent shift to UVs [utility vehicles] and pickup trucks” in the North American car market, prompting the executive to focus more on those models than small cars like the Dart and 200.