Home » I’m Not Convinced Stellantis Can Stick The Landing

I’m Not Convinced Stellantis Can Stick The Landing

Tmd Stellantis Airflow
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Stellantis, the automaker cobbled together from various global brands, made less money in the first quarter of 2024. Suppliers are mad at it. Whole countries are kinda mad at it. The company has squeezed and squeezed in order to prepare itself for a product onslaught that should mark the next big leap in the company. But what if those products aren’t popular? Then what happens?

I have no idea what will transpire because I do not have a time machine, a crystal ball, or any other way of predicting the future. If I did I probably wouldn’t have paid for MLB TV this year. But I’ve been doing this for a little while and I think I understand what Stellantis is trying to do; I’m just not sure it’s going to work.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Mercedes-Benz is another automaker that saw a drop in Q1, though I’m a little less worried about Mercedes and its product lineup. Penske Automotive also saw its revenues drop like Georgina. What’s going on?

All of this news would make you think April was a terrible month but, adjusted for seasonality, the market was close to that magic 16 million number. What gives?

The Bear Case For Stellantis

Carlos Tavares Lovits
Source: The Wedding Singer

Few people in April of 2019 would have predicted that we’d all be Clorox-wiping tins of Pringles just a year later.

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It was, however, great timing for Stellantis. The automaker came to being as a merger of FCA (itself a merger of Fiat’s brands and Chrysler’s brands) and PSA (itself a merger of Peugeot, Citroën, DS, and Opel). Rationalizing and combining all of these brands, products, and markets wasn’t something that was going to be easy.

The company’s leadership, under the guidance of Carlos Tavares (pictured), had a plan for it. You can see this plan clearly here in the United States where the former-FCA brands have stretched their product portfolios as long as possible. Seriously, the Dodge Challenger had more farewell tours than Elton John.

This worked well for Stellantis, and the pandemic didn’t hurt, as dwindling supplies meant buyers were desperate to buy anything and willing to pay above-market prices for what were often old platforms. Stellantis therefore made huge profits.

The All New, All Electric Jeep® Recon: 100% Jeep; 100% Zero Emi
The all-new, all-electric Jeep® Recon: 100% Jeep; 100% zero emission

Now that inventory is back up for its competitors, Stellantis has seen its sales slide in Europe and the United States. The company seems to constantly be bickering with the Italian government. Suppliers have been squeezed so hard they’re threatening to strike. Stellantis has also laid off white collar workers and engineers in the United States.

Shareholders are questioning whether Tavares should get a big pay boost under the circumstances.

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All of this may seem wild but it makes sense if you play engine-builder board games. These strategy games aren’t about building literal engines (usually), but about making a series of strategic decisions early in a game based on your position that will only pay off much later.

One of the engine-builders I love is Race for the Galaxy, which is card-based game that sees you trying to colonize some far-off galaxy. Do you take the diplomatic strategy? Is it an industrial play? Maybe military? It’s often not clear who will win until the last turn of cards, as small permutations in chance and the play of others finally come together to reveal who made the right moves earlier in the game. Thankfully, this game usually takes less than an hour. The last game of Viticulture I played took almost three hours before culminating (I lost).

What Tavares and crew are doing is similar, and the strategy is extremely sound. Harvest credits (profits) early, build your engine (or motors, in this case), and then be ready in the last round to win all of the points.

It’s why this quarter’s drop in Q1 net revenues of 12% year-over-year shouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s all part of the plan. The company’s CFO, Natalie Knight, basically says so in its earnings release:

“While Q1 2024 year-over-year shipments and Net revenues comparisons were difficult due to transitions in our next generation product portfolio manufactured on new platforms, we are delivering clear improvements in key commercial dynamics with customer sales outpacing shipments. We are reducing inventories to reinforce our strong relative pricing ahead of our new or mid-cycle product launches this year in key regions. During Q1 2024, we have introduced four new models out of our full-year launch plan of 25 models, including 18 BEV nameplates, which we believe sets the stage for materially improved growth and profitability in the second half of the year.”

This is all extremely sensible, though it does raise an important question: What if the products suck? I get that the Dodge Hornet is sort of a mid-cycle bandaid to get something to dealers. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge on this one product launch, but I’m looking at what Stellantis is planning to do and I’m not 100% convinced it’ll work, at least here in North America.

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2024 Dodge Charger Daytona Scat Pack, Shown In Triple Nickel.

Is the Jeep Recon going to be so great that it’ll stand up against the Scout, Cybertruck, and Rivian? Will the EV/Six combo of the 2025 Dodge Charger move the Mopar faithful? I think the new electric Fiat 500 looks great and I’m hopeful it’ll find a market, but it’s a little expensive at $34k for what you get, especially when you consider the Volvo EX30 costs about the same.

If there’s one brand I’m a little more bullish on its Ram, which has the 1500 RHO, the new regular 1500, the RAM REV, and the new Ramcharger. That’s a good portfolio, though RAM is still missing a competitor to either the Maverick or Ranger/Colorado/Tacoma.

In Europe, it’s also a little mixed. Will the Alfa Junior be a hit? Can the company find more customers for the Peugeot 408? The company is truly global, so two markets aren’t the whole game, but the company has been soft across the board. Sales were down 20% in North America, 6% in Europe, and 46% in China/India/Asia Pacific.

I’m not saying or hoping that Stellantis will fail to deliver on its new products. As a car enthusiast, I want them all to be awesome cars and trucks that we can all enjoy. I’m just pointing out what I think is obvious, which is that the company is making a huge bet on its product delivering in a big way over the next 12 months and, outside of RAM, I’m not convinced there are a ton of huge winners.

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It would be nice to be wrong about this.

Mercedes Earnings Dropped 30% In Q1 2024

Mercedes Benz Eqs, Modelljahr 2024 Mercedes Benz Eqs Model Year 2024

Mercedes-Benz saw a big drop in earnings before interest and taxes (29.8%) and also blamed a product changeover, though the company also has decent cash as it has managed to keep things tight.

From the company’s release:

Mercedes-Benz Group AG (ticker symbol: MBG) reported Free Cash Flow from the industrial business at a solid €2.23 billion (Q1 2023: €2.16 billion) in the first quarter with strong cash conversion including positive working capital developments. Group Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) totalled €3.9 billion (Q1 2023: €5.5 billion), reflecting lower raw material prices, tight cost control and a strong performance at Mercedes-Benz Vans. These effects partially offset lower sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars where supplier bottlenecks and model changeovers in the Top-End segment also led to a less favourable model mix. Group revenue came in at €35.9 billion (Q1 2023: €37.5 billion).

Lower revenue is pretty much always bad, but Mercedes is making it clear it won’t get dragged into an EV price war. I don’t love the current crop of Mercedes EVs, as I think BMW offers better in almost every class, but the vehicles still remain popular globally.

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Penske Automotive Net Income Drops 28%

Penske Truck
Photo: Penske

Penske Automotive is one of America’s largest dealers and also has a transportation business, neither of which excelled in Q1.

Per Automotive News:

Penske Automotive said its retail automotive service and parts revenue grew 9 percent to a quarterly record of $746 million. Excluding agency sales, same-store gross profit per new vehicle retailed fell 18 percent to $5,195, and same-store gross profit per used vehicle slipped 0.1 percent to $1,833.

Though Penske’s offerings skew more premium, price pressure and interest rates are tough on everyone. But it wasn’t the dealerships that were the big problem. From Penske’s release, it sounds like it was Penske Transportation Solutions:

Lower equity earnings from PTS were primarily due to lower commercial rental utilization, lower consumer rental revenue, higher interest rates and average debt balances, and lower gains from the sale of revenue earning vehicles partially offset by improved operating results in full-service leasing and distribution center management when compared to the same period in 2023.

This isn’t that unexpected given there was a huge, clearly unsustainable expansion in trucking supply over the last couple of years. If only there was a push-to-pass button for business…

SAAR 16 Million!

2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid Se Blue crush metallic 001

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For the third time, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) likely hit 16 million vehicles in April, which is pretty good.

From S&P Global Mobility:

S&P Global Mobility projects new light vehicle sales volume in April 2024 to reach 1.34 million units. While this unadjusted volume total would be a drop from both the month prior (down 7%) and year-ago (down 2%) levels, two fewer selling days than March 2024 and one less than April 2023 more than account for any potential declines. This volume would translate to an estimated sales pace of 16.0 million units (seasonally adjusted annual rate: SAAR), just the third time in the past 24 months the metric has reached this level.

“With an auto sales environment currently defined by the mixed signals of advancing inventory and incentives, together with affordability concerns from high interest rates and still-high vehicle prices, the anticipated April result reflects that consumers are still in the market for a new vehicle,” said Chris Hopson, principal analyst at S&P Global Mobility.

Someone is selling cars! There’s a market out there and brands with attractive and competitive affordable cars and hybrids are doing well.

What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

David and I don’t always listen to the same music, but Elton John is one of those artists we both enjoy. This whole album is great.

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The Big Question

I’m wrong, right? Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me the Stellantis product that’s going to get everyone excited.

 

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OptionXIII
OptionXIII
20 days ago

I worked at FCA/Stellantis from 2016 to 2022. Working at FCA was great. Post buyout, post Covid Stellantis was depressing as hell.

Sure, FCA had tons of problems. But it felt like management at least cared and understood about the US market product. Sergio really saved that company, and it was nice to see investment in the proving grounds I worked at take place.

Then came Peugeout and Tavares. First, there was a mad scramble to make FCA look like a united company, and not two distinct operations that happened to share some core technologies, platforms, and finances. Then, it became obvious that the US operations were going to get the short end. The entire summer of 2021, it felt like half the front office engineers at the PG moved to GM, without any sign of full time employees replacing them. Maybe 1/2 of them were replaced by contractors where absolutely needed. I had figured being in a unique market with products that couldn’t be engineered in France or Italy would protect US engineers. Nope! Those governments have a vested interest in keeping people employed. Not the US.

We’re now at 18 months since I left, and my entire engine cal team for one of the newer turbo engines was walked out the door during the recent layoffs. Time at the company, performance, experience, none of that mattered. All of them got walked. Someone in Brazil could do engine cal for the US market cheaper. Hell, they outsourced one of my responsibilities to Mexico before I left – doing the paperwork to ship calibration vehicles around the world. I was doing it because they refused to hire someone in Fleet Management to… manage the fleet. I had to move cars as part of this. How is someone in Mexico going to move a prototype car between lots in Auburn Hills, MI?

The French and Tavares will be the ones that finally kill Chrysler.

Last edited 20 days ago by OptionXIII
Guillaume Maurice
Guillaume Maurice
20 days ago

nitpicking :

PSA was not a merger of Peugeot, Citröen, DS and Opel.

PSA was created when Michelin got rid of it’s stake in Citroën in favor to Peugeot ( that was already a shareholder of Citroën ), DS is a spin off Citroën ( look for the early DS3 under the Citroën brand in Europe ) that appeared initially in China to target the luxury segment. Opel was bought from whomever owned it ( some US car company ) because they needed phat cash and disvesting it was part of a bailout agreement.

So it’s not a merger of anything. It’s shareholder buyout, spin off, buying a brand being sold.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
21 days ago

> Tell me the Stellantis product that’s going to get everyone excited.

The badge-engineered twins Chrysler Bankruptcy and Dodge Liquidation.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
21 days ago

> David and I don’t always listen to the same music

I.E. “David has horrible taste in music”

Andrew Pappas
Andrew Pappas
21 days ago

Stellantis is like the island of misfit toys of car brands

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
21 days ago

The Charger will excite everyone until they realize they can’t afford it. I’ll wager that the gasoline Chargers won’t cost much less. I hope I’m wrong.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
21 days ago
Reply to  Dodsworth

All the early rumors are suggesting a $20,000 increase over the 2023 Chargers & Challengers, because they got rid of any semblance of a base or mid-range model (all turbo, all AWD)

TopFuel1771
TopFuel1771
20 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

If that is the case, this thing will be DOA. A Charger starts at over $46k in Canada right now. $60k for a non-luxury sedan is insane

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
21 days ago

Just get a conference call going with Elon and he will figure this all out for them. It seems to be working well at Tesla.

Stellantis is an AI company now.

Greg
Greg
21 days ago

I love this. I tried to say this to people on here a month or two ago and I got argued to hell and back by the technicality police on here. A fair bit of commenters on this site will only believe it from the author, they cannot independently think.

So read it and weep suckers. Stellantis sucks! straight from the boss.

*I acknowledge I have a lot of hot takes, and thats why I get argued with. But I’m taking the W here!

Last edited 21 days ago by Greg
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
21 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Huh? I don’t think anybody disagrees that Stellantis sucks. I firmly believe Tavares thinks Stellantis sucks and he only took the CEO job because he was passed over for a CEO job at a real OEM.

He’ll probably run Home Depot or McKesson after he’s done with Stellantis.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Greg
Greg
21 days ago

I don’t care what you believe, I literally got argued at by multiple people for an entire day.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
21 days ago

Are you feeling like you are currently spending less on fuel than Jones over there? Want to juice up your life? Ask your doctor if Stellantis is right for you!

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
21 days ago

1) I keep seeing “Tavares” and thinking Tavarish, which actually kind of fits, the patron saint of lost causes should see if he can help out.

2) bring back the regal. In particular the tourx.

Beto O'Kitty
Beto O'Kitty
21 days ago

I agree that Stellantis could use a name change. Maybe DIVISIONS. Or JEE-DO-CHRY-RA, but then again I would never drink anything called Molland! The first LP I ever bought was Tumbleweed Connection. Loved it so much that it was also my first CD. Now if I could just figure out how to download it. LOL. Keep Autopian’n!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
21 days ago
Reply to  Beto O'Kitty

I think they should split into a couple of closely allied separate companies with overlapping shareholdings, technology and manufacturing sharing, and some common senior management, like Hyundai-Kia or Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, because it just seems ridiculously unwieldy to continue as a single company. Especially in Europe, where Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel/Vauxhall were all historical competitors with each other and where the absolute best performing brand sells maybe 241,000 a year in its own domestic “home” market, and the others are much less.

Maybe a Chrysler Group and a Fiat-Peugeot-Opel Group.

And sell the Italian luxury brands, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are just bottomless cash sucks with no turnaround in sight.

Last edited 21 days ago by Ranwhenparked
Horizontally Opposed
Horizontally Opposed
21 days ago

It’s such a huge shame and wasted opportunity with all these incredible brands and still existing customer admiration (except some turds). But the basic, big picture issue is physics: they simply are too big, too unyielding and too corporate to fly straight. Competence is hard to surface, and i can only imagine the bureaucracy and the stifling happening across governments, divisions etc. Verdict: they’re probably going to break up back into smaller pieces ????‍♂️. We shall see.

R53 Lifer
R53 Lifer
21 days ago

Stellantis could do a lot with one solid EV platform that could be a base for the following:

1) Midsize pickup (the everyman’s Rivian)

2) Chrysler Minivan (Stow & eGo!)

3) Dodge 7-seater SUV (minivans sux!)

4) Jeep Grand (7 seat) & Cherokee (5 seat)

5) Challenger (Plaid-fighter)

That could easily be 80% of their sales, and they have proven brand equity to win in each of them.

The big trucks are fine as-is, and just let the Euro brands be Euro. If it makes sense to import them stateside, do it, but otherwise, nbd.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
21 days ago

I can’t really comment on Stellantis’ operations overseas, but here in the U.S. things are bordering on tragic.

Important market segments and what Stellantis offers for non-luxury cars:

Compact car: Nothing
Midsized car: Nothing
Subcompact crossover: Renegade/Compass – old/uncompetitive
Compact Crossover: Hornet – too expensive/unreliable
Mid-sized Crossover: Jeep GC – hey, competitive!
Full-sized SUV – Wagoneer (lol)
Minivan – the released in 2017 Pacifica, and the hilariously unreliable Pacifica PHEV
Small truck: Nothing
Mid-sized truck: Gladiator – niche and doesn’t really compete directly
Full-sized truck: Ram

That’s a pretty miserable list of products to be honest. Sure they have the Wrangler and the Charger and derivatives of the Charger are on the way, but Stellantis hasn’t really released a product in the U.S. that hasn’t been a) hilariously unreliable or b) uncompetitive from the jump, in ages. So many brands, all starved for decent product to the point where most people I know don’t even bother to consider stopping at our local Stellantis stealership.

If we get to the point where companies like Toyota decide they want to conquest and go for volume, I just don’t see how Stellantis is going to survive without any product for regular people. If the economy slips up enough, they’re toast.

Michael Han
Michael Han
21 days ago

The pacifica PHEV is so tragic to me because as a minivan enjoyer I’d jump at the chance to own a plug in minivan… built by basically anyone but stellantis. The baffling part is the pacifica has been out forever and nobody else has jumped in

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
21 days ago
Reply to  Michael Han

I own a Voyager (Pacifica) and I’m pretty happy with it. A PHEV version would be fantastic for me, as inefficiency is my only grip with it. But unfortunately Stellantis made a mess of it.

It’s a huge bummer and I hope they figure it out. But I’m not holding my breath.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
21 days ago
Reply to  Michael Han

Same here. It is still tempting since they can get pretty darn cheap (comparatively) with the tax credit, but I don’t want a problem car.

Michael Han
Michael Han
21 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

I know, it’s like the forbidden fruit

Drew
Drew
21 days ago
Reply to  Michael Han

I think that manufacturers see the failure of the Pacifica as a sign that consumers don’t want PHEV minivans, rather than a sign that consumers don’t want a problematic Chrysler PHEV minivan. Which sucks, because Kia and Toyota both have solid minivans that could use a PHEV option and others could stand to jump back into minivans.

Michael Han
Michael Han
21 days ago
Reply to  Drew

I think you’re exactly right, and it’s a huge bummer that the pacifica went first instead of a safe pair of hands like the Sienna

Guillaume Maurice
Guillaume Maurice
20 days ago

In Europe, just for the (sub)compact segment :

Fiat Topolino, (e-)500(x), 600 & Panda, Citroën Ami & (e-)C3, DS 3, Peugeot 208, 2008, (e-)308, (e-)3008.
And that’s just for the (sub)compact segment ( including SUVs and electric/hybrid versions ) and 4 brands…

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago

The big question: I think the electric replacements for the Charger, Challenger and 300 will bring at least some excitement… if only because the current product has been in production for such a long time.

But it all comes down to how they position and price the product. If they make the same mistake they made with the Dodge Horny/Alfa ToeNail by having Very Optimistic MSRPs and only offering loaded high-performance/AWD versions. Doing that will cool a lot of any potential excitement.

They need to introduce less loaded “bread and butter” versions… such as an affordable FWD non-turbo regular hybrid… preferably selling for at least 20% less than the cheapest version currently being sold which has AWD and the turbo 4 cyl.

And maybe offer an even cheaper FWD version with the manual transmission… which is available on other vehicles on the same platform sold in the EU and other markets.

So if they make a entry-level version of the new Charger with RWD, at least 250 miles of range and sell it for the same price as a Tesla Model 3 RWD Standard Range (around US$39K), it will generate a lot of excitement.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
21 days ago

Completely unrelated: an Infiniti ad for something popped up on a video I was watching. The first line of dialog before skipping was an option was “Well, I had to buy something…”. Yep, that about explains the continued existence of Infiniti. When BMW and M-B won’t give someone the time of day, Infiniti it is.

Protodite
Protodite
21 days ago

Viticulture sucks! My brother dragged me into playing it, it took like 3 hours, and then it all ended instantly. The game makes sense enough, but the system just doesn’t work. It’s a ton of work and time to get to actually producing wine, but then on literally the first turn we could actually produce wine, my brother got all of the points and ended the game. It was so incredibly unsatisfying. I’d say it needs to be adjusted for more victory points to actually win and end the game since it all takes so damn long to build up anything anyway.

Drew
Drew
21 days ago
Reply to  Protodite

That sums up how I feel about playing most engine-builders with people of various skill levels. Someone who knows the game sets up something the others don’t know is going to win and then you play for too long and the win feels like it comes out of nowhere (or, for the skilled player, feels inevitable well before that point).
They work pretty well if everyone is newish or everyone is very familiar, but you’re rarely in those situations (in my experience).

Last edited 21 days ago by Drew
Protodite
Protodite
21 days ago
Reply to  Drew

Yeah, I mean I understood the process and was actually somewhat enjoying it in the lead up, but it really was just “Boom it’s over.” Like I kinda thought the game would be more about, ya know, building it up and then being able to actually make a winery and sell things. It was more of “Well here’s a few hours of boring, complicated planning and then you’re not actually going to get any chance to implement any of what you’ve done and you’ve successfully wasted 3 hours.”

I am generally skeptical of games that are overly complicated, but I decided to give it a shot and I was just proven more right than I could have ever imagined haha. Just give me an actual game you can just sit down and play without a giant complicated rule book, or give me wingspan, which while decently complex, is just so darn pleasant it doesn’t matter if you even play to win or not

Drew
Drew
21 days ago
Reply to  Protodite

Wingspan is nice in that it feels less competitive and has enough complexity for a variety of winning strategies without one being obviously better. And the rounds help break up the usual engine-builder drag a bit and give players a chance to see how their strategies are working. New players can still get blindsided, but not quite as thoroughly.

I don’t mind a complex game, but engine-builders aren’t my jam, mostly because of what you’ve said about the complex planning and then the significant chance of that abrupt ending or the realization the game is decided and you’re mostly going to watch it play out. The only time they feel satisfying to me is when the game is really close and you’re all vying for that final piece to secure victory, and that doesn’t even always happen with players of equal skill.

J.N.
J.N.
21 days ago

Excellent album choice

Ryan L
Ryan L
21 days ago

Stellantis is cooked.

If that Recon was a bit smaller, had a 3 or 4 cyl hybrid and landed for under 30k they might have a shot but they are trying to land it in one of the most contested segments.

JDE
JDE
21 days ago

“If there’s one brand I’m a little more bullish on its Ram, which has the 1500 RHO, the new regular 1500, the RAM REV, and the new Ramcharger. That’s a good portfolio, though RAM is still missing a competitor to either the Maverick or Ranger/Colorado/Tacoma.”

The RHO is a massive whiff, giving the Raptor R the win. Given that Jeep has been Running the Hybrid Wrangler for a few years now and they have the nifty Ram REV. the fact that they don’t make a Hybrid TRX that you can Daily on electric with say 1,000 HP combined is aggregious.

the regular 1500 lacks the low cost Classic option for Work Trucks now it seems, so that might also reduce sales in an area of the market that Ram played well in previously.

I think the new regular Ram 1500 is fine for maybe a year or so, but they hopefully have some style changes in the works and transition the current design to the classic moniker by then.

V10omous
V10omous
21 days ago
Reply to  JDE

The RHO is a massive whiff, giving the Raptor R the win.

The Raptor R is at least $50,000 more than the RHO; this is a ridiculous comparison.

Nathan Summerville
Nathan Summerville
21 days ago

Stellantis is screwed! This is what happens when you let europeans try and market stuff in the United States. They have absolutely no idea what we want. Without a V8 in their lineup sales will tank. The new charger is DOA. The new Ram is already being made fun of. The RHO is being compared to the TRX, fairly or not. EV demand is falling off the charts. More and more people are discovering that they are actually worse for the environment. Hopefully an American company will buy Dodge/Ram back and restore it soon!

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
21 days ago

Ok. Let’s fix Stellantis:

Step 1: rename it not Stellantis.

Step 2: See below:

Jeep the Offroad SUV brand:
-Wrangler: Keep on Keeping on, but make 10K cheaper. Get rid of the ones with low profile tires.
-Gladiator: Same as above. Please offer a 2-door version and a PHEV.
Renegade, but more modern, more offroady. Don’t offer a FWD.
Cherokee: just market the Recon as the Cherokee.
Compass: maybe this needs a hybrid version or PHEV. Don’t sell FWD version.
Grand Cherokee/L: Keep on Keeping on. Do not sell RWD version.
Wagoneer: Why doesn’t this have any visual cues of the OG? The D pillar, especially. Make it more down market and go after Tahoe, but for offroaders.

Dodge/Ram: The Performance/Truck Brand
Charger: This one makes us V8 fans nervous. TBD to see how this will go. A manual transmission would be cool!
Bring Ram back into the Fold. People still call them Dodge Rams!
Hornet: Focus on being reliable. Bring the prices down too!
Midsize: Rebadge the Stelvio way down market, but keep the speed.
Durango: Rebadge from Cherokee, but more street-oriented. Offer RWD version with new T6.
Dakota: For heaven’s sake! They need a Tacoma variant. Offer a street version with T6 engine.
Rampage: Same as above, but for Maverick. Offer a midgate option to make fairly usable.
Small car: Tap Euro brands for a competent small car. Make sure it fits Americans.
Caravan: Move Pacifica to Dodge Brand.

Chrysler: The Premium Brand
-300: Make new 300 off bones of new Charger
Midsize SUV: Rebadge the Stelvio
Big SUV: Rebadge Wagoneer’s into street fancy Wagoneer’s.
Aspen It’s time to try the Aspen again. Fancy the Durango.
French Stuff: Chrysler would be an awesome place to bring the comfy French stuff

Fiat: The EV Italians
Cheap EV’s aren’t a thing here, but should be.
500 EV: Well, that’s here
Panda: Small cars are dying, but there is still a need for them. This one is cool
Cactus: A funky French car rebadged as a funky italian? I am game!
Fiata: This was left to die on the vine, and it’s a shame. Try an EV sportscar that is cheap and has 200 miles of range. Keep it relatively tossable.

Alfa: Kill it (sorry).

Maserati: The Supercar Brand
Grecale: Rename. ASAP.
Ghibli: Kill it. The name has been tarnished. Try again, but stop with the parts bin sharing that is obvious. Make it solid, reliable, nice, and fast.
Levante: Seriously due for an update. Make it good.
Gran Turismo: Faster, Nicer, More fun to drive
Quattroporte: See above
MC20: Keep on Keeping On

They also need to work on making quality products instead of rushed products. They are always at the bottom of reliability charts, and it shows.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jacob Rippey
Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

With these changes they would sell precisely two cars: one to you, one to me.

JDE
JDE
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

I would like them to benchmark a Suzuki Jimny for the renegade replacement.

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
21 days ago
Reply to  JDE

YES! I forgot that they need a small offroader a la Jimney.

Drew
Drew
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

I have notes:

Wrangler/Gladiator 4xe needs to offer better range or efficiency. Both would be best, but choose at least one.
Renegade can keep offering FWD. Seems like half the people who buy them don’t know whether they have AWD anyway, and we wanna keep costs down. If you want a small offroader, make one. The Renegade ain’t it.
Pacifica should still be a Chrysler, too. Have the low trim as Caravan, high as Pacifica. Maybe the PHEV could be both, maybe it’s the Pacifica.
Hornet needs to be more competitive on cargo space and/or efficiency. Not necessarily best in class, but competitive. If someone just wants performance, they’ll get a car. If they’re buying a crossover, they probably want more utility.

And the Ramcharger range-extended EV concept needs to be put to work wherever you can cram it in. Nobody’s offering much, so Stellantis could have a leg up on the competition for range-extended electric SUVs, vans, and pickups that offer plenty of range to stay electric for daily use and have the generator for the road.

Otherwise, I think you have great ideas here.

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
21 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

That’s like offering a job to captain the Titanic, 1 hour after it struck an iceberg.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Regarding Dodge/Ram… The trucks all go back under Dodge. Ram goes back to being a model name.

And regarding Fiat, unless they are somehow magically making money, I would kill Fiat in North America. Given the brands unsustainably low sales here, I can’t see how they could be breaking even. Only keep in markets where it does decent volume.

And by making Maserati more up-market, it makes sense to keep Alfa around for the lower end Euro market and go against the volume BMWs, Audis and Mercs.

Also you forgot about Lancia (kill it), DS (put it back under Citroen), Peugeot (make it same as Citroen, but more sporty), Citroen (make it same as Peugeot, but more luxurious), Opel (keep it only in markets where it does well – LHD version of Vauxhall) and Vauxhall (use as main brand for RHD markets).

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
21 days ago

I thought they made “RAM” in part to get some of the gas guzzlers out of the “Dodge” CAFE numbers.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

CAFE = CORPORATE Average Fuel Economy… it’s the average fuel economy of the vehicles sold by the given corporation.

And thus, making Ram a separate brand had absolutely no impact on CAFE.

Horizontally Opposed
Horizontally Opposed
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Love step 1. Who were the ad wizards?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

One other thing… about this:
Step 1: rename it not Stellantis.”

My name suggestion: PLODGE… named after Canadian market Chrysler vehicles that were a mix of Dodge and Plymouth parts.
https://www.allpar.com/threads/chrysler-canada-1924-to-2014.229656/?post_id=1085223754&nested_view=1&sortby=oldest#post-1085223754

And as a company, Stellantis is like a corporate version of a ‘Plodge’

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Who the F needs 7 different Jeep models, other than David?

Maserati needs to die, too. Their cars have always been terrible, even by Italian standards. When you’re competing with a depreciated used version of yourself that 40-60% off the new price within 2 years, that’s not a vital brand.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bosco
Bosco
20 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Kill Alfa Romeo? It’s the only one I’d keep

VermonsterDad
VermonsterDad
20 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Rename Ram -> Dodge.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
21 days ago

Stellantis is fucked. They honestly couldn’t have played the last 5-7 years worse if they tried. They dragged their feet on electrification, but unlike Toyota or Honda they didn’t invest in hybrids…so right now they have nothing other than lousy PHEVs (the Jeeps), the Toenail/Dart PHEVs with their Italian reliability combined with brand new hybrid technology (what could possibly go wrong?!?!), an unreliable PHEV minivan, and some tiny EVs. What do they have coming up on that front? An EV Jeep that no one wants and an electric “muscle car” that weighs as much as a Wagoneer. They’ll sell like 13 of them.

Combine this with their stupid pandering to the MUH V8 crowd and riding that wave with two middle fingers raised until regulations stopped it and they’re in huge trouble…because what has been appealing about Stellantis products outside of Jeep other than V8s? I’m coming up blank. The Charger and Challenger are appealing almost solely because they had multiple V8s available. The same can be said of the Durango. Hell the only Wrangler that’s more appealing than a Bronco right now is the one with the 392. The Chrysler 300? An absolute nothing until you option a Hemi, then it’s appealing.

They’re standing there with their pants down and are rushing bad products that are reactionary to try to play catch up. This has resulted in a lot of half baked slop. The EV Charger got universally panned when it was finally revealed. The only one people care about is the ICE one…because it’s a fucking muscle car.

They hack-jobbed the Hurricane straight 6, decided to shove it into everything, and it’s been a recall machine so far. They also now only offer a ludicrously overboosted one as their high power offering to replace the 6.4. 600 horsepower out of a 3 liter engine? What could possibly go wrong?!?! I’m sure that’ll be as solid as a big understressed V8!

Anyway they’re lost and are sloppily playing catch up. Maybe they’ll hit a few out of the park, but it’s remarkable how behind Ford and GM they are right now. They’ve been making products designed for 2004 for the last decade…and don’t even get me started on the hilariously stupid Wagoneer.

JDE
JDE
21 days ago

The fact that they did not prove out the Turbo six while still selling the 3.6 and Big V8’s is probably the biggest fail. part of the reason why the Pentastar and even the Hemi’s to an extent have a relatively decent reputation for reliability is because they are so long lived and thus the early issues were fixed over time.

I am not against a nice solid turbo six, hell I even dig them in a row. But I don’t trust that they are going to be worth a crap in 3-5 years. It took me that long to see the early issue with the Ferd 3.5 and now I would only buy that one as the Nano 6’s they are pushing to replace it are being recalled left and right.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago

An absolute nothing until you option a Hemi, then it’s appealing.”

Did you know that the majority of LX car sales are actually the V6 model? And did you know that even with the 3.6L V6, it’s still a very nice and decently fast car? I know because I’ve rented LX cars with the base V6 and they were better than I expected.

And did you know there are many people out there (like me) who would rather trade some power for better fuel economy because gas isn’t cheap everywhere?

Now having said that, the Hurricane inline 6 makes sense in a world of declining ICE sales in the future. That engine is basically simplifying their manufacturing and will save them money in the long run.

And as CAFE fuel economy rules get tighter, those V8s will become less and less economical to sell.

As long as the new engine is reliable and durable, it’ll all be fine.

Mind you that’s a big ‘if’.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
21 days ago

It’s longer than 5-7 years, Mergio was intentionally starving product development due to his belief in an imminent sale to/merger with another automaker, to both show a better balance sheet and to allow for immediate platform sharing with whatever company they combined with. It ended up taking way, way longer than expected to find a partner.

A new Dodge Journey should have been on the market for 2016, but the original lasted to 2020 and wasn’t replaced.

The new Chrysler 200 was actually the best selling midsize car in the history of the Chrysler brand, but still didn’t sell in large enough numbers, since it was expected to exceed the volumes of the previous 200 and Avenger combined, due to the decision to not give Dodge their own version, and it didn’t, so it was killed without a replacement (not even a Chrysler midsize crossover, if not another sedan).

Similar story with the Dodge Dart – that one didn’t sell all that well at all, but it sold 80,000+ a year, which is better than nothing, and nothing is what replaced it when it was dropped, Dodge didn’t get a new small crossover to fill the gap, nothing.

They went more upscale with the Pacifica, not doing an entry level version to directly replace the Dodge Caravan until 2020, which was a mistake that abandoned a key market segment for minivans, and the Pacifica is, itself, now at the end of its product cycle and should be replaced right now, but there’s no replacement on the horizon

The Charger/Challenger/300 remained profitable, but were left too long without a major update, which should have happened at least 5 years ago, at the latest, and were cancelled before their replacements were ready, leaving about a 12 month gap with nothing

The Durango is also overdue for replacement by about 5 years.

All this isn’t entirely on Stellantis, FCA already had an aging product mix and nothing in the pipeline before the merger

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
20 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yeah the whole thing of cancelling a product with nothing to replace it is one thing that really pissed off about FCA.

If no replacement is ready, then just keep the existing product in production and keep it competitive by making it cheaper than the competition.

As much as it drove a lot of us here nuts, I’m sure it was driving a lot of legacy Chrysler Corp employees even more nuts since they knew they *could* make a competitive product, but that top management was just running the company for maximum SHORT TERM profit.

I used to think Marchionne was a great CEO. But now in hindsight, he wasn’t that great and pushed FCA into an unnecessary merger with a company that didn’t have anything that FCA couldn’t develop themselves.

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