Chrysler’s Survival Probably Depends on Peugeot and DS

Chrysler was once one of the most prosperous automakers in the United States, and now it sells just three models – the Chrysler 300, Pacifica, and Voyager. The Pacifica and Voyager, by the way, are basically the same model packaged differently. Needless to say, the brand has seen better days and, lately, it’s been hard not to wonder when the final nail will be set into the coffin as the Chrysler brand is finally shelved. All of this, however, could be a thing of the past thanks to the creation of Stellantis, which also just so happens to own brands like Peugeot, Citroen, and DS alongside older FCA brands like Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

With the Stellantis brand alive and well, financial resources won’t be as big of an issue for Chrysler. Platform sharing from all of the aforementioned brands could significantly cut down the cost of rejuvenating Chrysler to the point that it has a robust lineup once again. This will depend on a number of factors, though, starting with Stellantis’ desire to continue the brand, Chrysler’s dealer network adapting to selling not only more vehicles but a different type of vehicle, and brand image – that latter of which isn’t exactly the best in the world.

So, what can we expect? Well, from Peugeot alone, we could see the 2008, 3008, and 5008 SUVS all go under the knife just to come out representing the Chrysler brand. Likewise, Chrysler will most certainly move into PHEV and EV territory, in which we’ll likely see the E-2008 EV, and the 3008 Hybrid. On the other hand, we might see something like the DS3 and DS7 Crossback transition into Chrysler models. The DS3, by the way, is available as an EV with up to 206 miles of range while the DS7 can be had as a plug-in hybrid. Then you’ve got the other Stellantis brands like Citroen, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati, but we won’t dive that deep into speculation here.

As far as what any of these models will be like, well you can expect Chrysler to remain within the premium segment. The company isn’t going to lower itself to compete with brands like Chevy and Ford, for example. This means we’ll probably see more Alfa Romeo and Maserati DNA, but we know DS is looking to position itself in the Premium segment too.

Either way, electrification is going to be a big part of what injects life into the Chrysler brand, as expressed by David Kelleher – Chairman of the Stellantis National Dealer Council – in an interview with Automotive News.  There he explains that the Chrysler dealer network needs to up its game, and that all dealers need to be prepared to sell whatever comes their way. So as a network, our dealers have to become a lot better than we probably are now at selling electric. We need to invest in infrastructure, train our personnel and adapt our processes.”

This leads us to one final thought: Should Chrysler be rejuvenated and kept alive, or should Stellantis just pull the plug and bring Citroen, Peugeot, and DS back into the states in place of Chrysler? That would essentially cut the need to inject any major money into Chrysler for rejuvenation or building new designs on top of the various existing platforms in the new company’s portfolio. Only time will tell, but if something doesn’t happen quick, Chrysler is going to die a slow, painful death.

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