Chrysler Is Doomed

We hate saying that. But nothing makes sense from recent comments made by Chrysler CEO Chris Fuell. The automaker is killing its popular 300 sedan after 2023, leaving only its Pacifica minivan as the lone model until it comes up with an EV in 2025. A sedan and minivan are it.

What does Chrysler offer that Stellantis doesn’t already have?

Chrysler Pacifica
2023 Chrysler Pacifica | Stellantis

When FCA became Stellantis in 2021, it gained a ton of new siblings. Just look at the list, Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall joined forces with Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Maserati. When car companies combine, it’s usually to gain a built-in dealer network or to amortize vehicle development. 

Yes, 14 brands are crazy. There is no way you can distinguish that many nameplates. Product overlap is an understatement. It’s why there is no Mercury, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Saturn, et al. 

Why isn’t Chrysler benefiting from its European siblings?

Peugeot e-308
Peugeot e-308 EV | Stellantis

With that in mind, and looking at its U.S. brands, there must be two or three that are on the chopping block. We suggest Chrysler is definitely at the top of that list for a number of reasons. Let’s start with amortization and the lack of makes under the Chrysler halo. 

Stellantis never sold any of the pre-Stellantis brands in the U.S. it sells in Europe. With so few Chrysler models, the quickest way to flesh out its product line is to take virtually any of its European siblings and begin badge engineering. They’re 100% sorted out and ready to go. Bam! Instantly, Chrysler has two or three new models for pennies, in no time. 

With the 300 sedan gone, Chrysler is down to a minivan

Chrysler 300
2023 Chrysler 300 | Stellantis

But that hasn’t happened. And starting in 2024, Chrysler is down to selling only a minivan. With the opportunity of instant models virtually for free, this is more than odd. It points to Stellantis starving the brand, not developing it. Strike one.

Fuell tells Autoblog there are “quite a bit” of new models coming. But that is the extent of our peek at anything new from Chrysler’s head cheerleader. What’s more than odd is this was her opportunity to tout the gloriousness of its supposedly coming Airflow EV. 

Where’s the airflow?

Chrysler Airflow
Chrysler Airflow EV concept | Stellantis

You remember the Airflow. No, not the one from the 1930s, we’re talking about the latest concept that debuted at the CES Show just last year. The concept is barely a year old, is supposed to bring Chrysler out of the shadows, and is its first new model since the 2017 Pacifica. For whatever reason, it is never spoken of in the interview. In spite of several attempts by the interviewer to get Fuell to elaborate on the “quite a bit” line.

Look, we’re glad that Chrysler appears to be developing a crossover-like EV. But it won’t see daylight for two more years. And, honestly, there are many EVs like it with more dynamic looks, with many more in the pipeline for the next two years. Unfortunately, if Chrysler is betting on its future with this one new vehicle until we don’t know when another will appear, well, that’s a bad sign. Strike two.

Strike three

Chrysler 200
2017 Chrysler 200 | Stellantis

With the introduction of the Pacifica, it had three models, the 300, 200, and Pacifica. In 2018, it was down to just the 300 and Pacifica. It killed the 200 sedan. Going further back to 2015, there was also the Town and Country minivan, based on the Dodge Caravan. 

The point of this history lesson is that Chrysler has been without product for a decade. So with that said, only having one model after this year means to the minds of the public that Chrysler doesn’t exist. It evaporated years ago and is left with one model to carry that unimpressive tale for two more years with a minivan. 

Does anybody remember Chrysler?

Chrysler Airflow
Chrysler Airflow EV concept | Stellantis

Chrysler Kills the 300 This Year With Nothing to Replace It

An unemotional, shrinking segment, seven-year-old minivan at that. No gravitas, passion, or presence in any segment. To buyers, that equals nonexistence with all of the new, exciting vehicles coming out now. Strike three.

Fuell also said that “From 2025 onward, we’ll be entering new market segments that we haven’t been in in a while.” Any market segment would be new for the company. What is she talking about?

We’ve seen specific new products planned for 2024 and 2025 from Dodge and Ram. We know there is a serious effort to reimagine Alfa Romeo. Maserati is the high-end, Fiat could be an entry-level brand, and Ram and Jeep are the juggernauts. That quite plainly leaves out Chrysler. It’s doomed, sorry to say.