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June 11, 2018

SAD: Things don’t look good for Dodge and Chrysler.

The fact is that Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) has as a lot of brands, some of which generate way more customer excitement than others.

For instance, there is Jeep, one of the most valuable automotive brands in the world. Then there’s Ram, the pickup truck that was brand split off from Dodge in 2009. It sells trucks that haul in loads of profits. Then, on the Italian side, there are Alfa Romeo and Maserati, which sell exciting, snarling Italian luxury and performance cars.

Chrysler and Dodge play support roles, and only have a significant presence in North America. Simply put, Fiat Chrysler has better places to invest its money.

The Chrysler name doesn’t resonate much with consumers even in the United States. The fact that it shares a name with its parent company that just a decade ago narrowly avoided bankruptcy doesn’t help, said David Zatz, a blogger who follows Chrysler closely.

“The case against Chrysler being here in 2030 is pretty convincing,” he said. “The brand does not have a particularly good reputation in the US, its only major market.”

Fiat has compounded Chrysler’s woes by starving the brand of product. Chrysler’s entire lineup consists of just two vehicles: A full-size sedan in a market going crazy for CUVs, and whose platform debuted in 2004; and a minivan, which is a segment whose sales peaked in 2000.