Fiat Chrysler is circling the Chrysler wagons as it continues to pare away models. Or is Chrysler just circling the drain? The latest is the Chrysler 300 SRT8 down in Australia. Killed off in 2015 here in the states Fiat Chrysler just announced it is also killing it off Down Under. It has yet to fulfill orders for the New South Wales police. Once that is done it’s the end of the line for the Chrysler 300 SRT8. In all, Chrysler inches closer to killing the brand.
But once those last Chrysler 300s are sold that will be it
There are enough of the 300 SRT8s sedans sitting around dealership lots to satisfy a surge in interest based on today’s news. But once those are sold that will be it. The V8-powered sedans from both Holden and Ford have been a staple of traditional Aussie history. But over the last several years both the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore have been axed.
As Carbuzz points out, the 300 SRT8 isn’t exactly a cheap sedan. That might be why it has never sold in exceptionally high numbers. With a starting price of $50,000, most examples topped $70,000. Now in the US the only V8 Chrysler 300 you can get is the 300S. We don’t know if that is still available in Australia.
Fiat Chrysler continues to slowly strangle Chrysler
As Fiat Chrysler continues to slowly strangle Chrysler it is obvious it’s keeping Chrysler hanging by a thread. The reason is that it’s hard to unwind a franchise dealer from the manufacturer due to state franchise laws. Both GM and Chrysler went through divorcing from many dealers during their financial woes in 2010. It was both expensive and litigious.
By holding onto the brand Fiat Chrysler is waiting for the pending merger with Groupe PSA. That should be completed by the end of March. Then, there will be Citroen, Peugeot, and Opel models that could be substituted or rebranded as Chrysler products. At this point, nothing has been leaked to indicate what will be the outcome of Chrysler’s brand.
Besides Chrysler, Dodge is on shaky footing, as is DS and Lancia
Besides Chrysler, Dodge is on shaky footing, as is DS and Lancia on the Groupe PSA side. With overlap, aged platforms like the 300, and a desire to optimize the merger, it isn’t looking good for these brands. The big dogs within Stellantis, the new name for the merger are Jeep, Ram, Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel. For the rest, a decision has to be made.
Chrysler is made up of the ancient 300 sedans, and the Pacifica and Voyager minivans. Both of the vans could be rebadged as something else under the Stellantis umbrella. Then Chrysler would essentially be dead. Will it happen? We aren’t sure.
Would Stellantis want to introduce Citroen, Peugeot, and Opel brands unfamiliar to American buyers? Or would it just be easier to rebrand them as Chrysler and Dodge products? That question has most assuredly been answered. Now, we’ll have to wait to see what happens.