The related Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans will be slowly phased out so that FCA has more capacity to make highly profitable Jeep and Ram models.
Other news outlets are reporting that the mid-size Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart have been axed, but the truth is a little more complex.
Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne said in an earnings call this week, “[FCA will] withdraw the current Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart from the marketplace over a prolonged period of time, during which we will be continuing discussions with potential partners that will be able to allow us to access that architecture and effectively provide us the product from their facilities.”
In English, tooling for more profitable vehicles, such Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups will be added to the 200 and Dart’s plants. If there’s enough demand for these Jeep and Ram models, or if demand for the 200 and Dart fall off a cliff, the 200 and Dart production will end.
In the meantime, the two models will carry on, and FCA will try to find a partner with whom to develop next generation versions of these cars.
At present, the Dodge Dart is built in Belvidere, Illinois, next to the Jeep Compass and Patriot. The company has already indicated that the Jeep Cherokee will be added to this plant. Launched in May 2012, Dart sales have been poor (87,392 in 2015 vs. 363,332 of the class leading Corolla), and its position is the most precarious.
The Chrysler 200 is built exclusively at Sterling Heights, Michigan. The plant will likely be used for excess production of the Ram pickup.
Launched in 2014, the new 200 is doing better in the market: 177,889 in 2015 vs. 429,355 Toyota Camrys.