Both the Fox News Channel and Fox Business News made a point of cutting to reporter Jeff Flock covering Dodge during the course of the day’s broadcasts to crow that the auto giant is hot and heavy to bring back the iconic “American Muscle Cars” that were in their heyday during the late ’60s – early ’70s.
But what Fox failed to mention is the same Dodge Muscle Cars they were featuring will no longer be manufactured here in the United States. As reported by USA Today just a few short weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) cars are about to become a thing of the past. At least any cars manufactured in the United States.
With Dodge, Jeep and Ram Trucks falling under the FCA umbrella, the fate of any future Dodge Challenger T/As and Charger Daytonas (and the thousands of American jobs that go with them) are on the corporate chopping block.
It’s been announced that by early 2017, FCA will focus primarily on Jeeps, SUVs and Ram pickup trucks here in the States. Reportedly, all automobile manufacturing will shift to Mexico, Canada, and other “foreign nations.”
According to CEO Sergio Marchionne (emphasis mine), “By the time we finish with this, hopefully, all of our production assets in the United States — if you exclude Canada and Mexico from the fold — all those U.S. plants will be producing either Jeeps or Ram.”
As cited, Marchionne’s move is an attempt to increase the profit margin to match the competition at Ford and General Motors. It was also noted that the mitigating factors that may have influenced Marchionne decision were “the growing popularity of SUVs in America, low gas prices and lower cost of producing vehicles in Mexico.”
However, there’s no word as of yet what Fiat Chrysler would do if the popularity of SUVs in the United States should drop, or if gas prices should spike, or if the cost of producing vehicles in Mexico should prove to be more expensive than anticipated.
During the course of its existence, Chrysler has not only been owned by the Italians, but also owned by the Germans twice, the US government twice, and was once in a 50-50 partnership with the Japanese.
Furthermore, the Detroit Free Press is also reporting;
There also has been speculation about the future of Fiat Chrysler’s [Canadian] Brampton assembly plant where it now makes the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.
Last month, CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that FCA will stop producing all passenger cars in the U.S. next year. By the middle of next year, all of FCA’s passenger cars will be assembled in Mexico, Canada or Italy.