Fiat Chrysler attempted take on the imports with the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans. While both cars offered some style and value, neither was a sales success. Now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants to outsource the production to some other brand, but which brand should it be?
The current 200 and Dart models are reported to run their course and be supplanted by new model, made by someone else and sold under Chrysler and Dodge. According to Motor Trend, FCA is currently looking into potential partnerships with other automakers. CEO Sergio Marchionne is under the impression that cheap gas will be around “forever,” and has decided to cut his losses in the small car market in order to focus on selling trucks and SUVs. But he is not going to give up on selling small cars, he just doesn’t want to make them. Marchione is out to find a brand that is “better at it than [FCA is] and who has got capacity available.”
As much as I would love to see the ‘90s return with an FCA-Mitsubishi partnership and get something bonkers like a Dart R/T with a turbo-4 and an Evo sourced AWD system, Mitsubishi’s global lineup for compact sedans doesn’t indicate the capacity to make a serious small car.
Which other brands would be interested? It’s probably safe to say that Honda and Toyota wouldn’t even consider such a thing, as they have no problem moving millions of Civics and Corollas on their own. The Korean brands could be a possible option, but they have worked so hard to shed the “cheap car” image and are finally making class competitive vehicles. An FCA partnership could set them back.
So, who is left? Chevrolet? Ford? Perhaps Tata Motors? What brand would actually benefit from building a compact car for Fiat Chrysler?