UPDATE: Chrysler Brand Survives But Focus Elsewhere In Five-Year Plan

BlackburnNews.com file photo of Windsor Assembly. (Photo by Jason Viau)

The good news is the Chrysler brand will survive, however Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ focus in North America will be on its Dodge Ram and Jeep brands.

“I noticed that some people started tweeting nonsense about the fact that the agenda didn’t have Fiat or Chrysler identified as being topics of the presentations,” CEO Sergio Marchionne told investors during a question and answer period. “I think Chrysler will continue to be relevant in the United States.”

However, unlike the brands that were highlighted in his report, Marchionne says “don’t expect Chrysler, in my view, to become a global brand. That’s highly unlikely.”

On Thursday, the company announced it would supply self-driving company Waymo with another 62,000 Windsor-built Chrysler Pacifica hybrid models over the next three years.

Marchionne’s comments came Friday during a question and answer period following the presentation of his five-year plan to investors in Turin, Italy.

Saying “FCA now has the ability to control its own destiny,” CEO Sergio Marchionne says Fiat will reach a zero-debt position by the end of June, at a time when sales in the U.S. are the best they’ve been since July 2005.

FCA shareholder value has nearly doubled since 2015, and 1 in every 17 utility vehicles sold worldwide was a Jeep vehicle.

Marchionne also announced the company would unveil it’s 2019 Heavy Duty RAM pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

The company plans to boost its investment into electric vehicles for all brands and work with BMW on autonomous driving technology.

Marchionne says FCA plans to the first automaker to offer autonomous driving technology in the retail market, but could not give a time-frame for when consumers would be able to buy a fully-autonomous vehicle.