It’s true. Sergio is thirstier than a dolphin in Timbuktu. No one wants any part of this, for reasons that will likely be revealed in time. (Historical note: Nothing good ever happens in a 5 year plan.)
That’s why they should give it to me. Look, this thing is going down in flames (no thanks to you Ferrari) it may as well go down in the hands of someone with absolutely no experience and completely unprepared. I’ll take the fall of crashing the 7th largest and one of the most historical companies. I only ask for a bronze parachute in return.
But I have plans for this maligned group of glorious brands.
1st: Sell! Sell! Sell!
Ferrari? Highest bidder please! It’s not going to be gaining any value being attached to the rest of this dumpster fire. Can’t win races and innumerable challengers on the street, looking like it is time to cash in these chips.
Now the proud brand of Lancia: Nearly free to a good home (Mazda) FCA probably owes Mazda for the Miata chassis anyways.
Chrysler: You have literally 3 models. 3. I’m not spending any money on you when I have more lucrative projects. I’m certain you’ll end up in China. I’m OK with this. What in the hell are you supposed to be these days anyways?
Where do these current brands fit? Why is Maserati fighting the 5 series? I thought Alfa was the BMW fighter? Why doesn’t Dodge have a mid size sedan? Is that the Chrysler 200? Fiat, there is more than one freaking number. People are easily confused, don’t make it worse. How will I direct them? well;
Fiat: 500 (duh), 600/Panda(500x), 700(Nissan Rogue sized for a tiny 3 row CUV), Fiata and FWD Compact 4dr Coupe (gasp). This is intended to be cheap and stylish. The affordable (~20k) 4 door coupe will be a hit as all other compact sedans are...well, sedans. And all other 4dr coupes are relatively expensive. Everyone loves a car that looks more expensive than it is. If you want more practical, sell the platform-mate Fiat 600. All bases covered.
Dodge: ‘Murica. I like that part of their current marketing angle. Needs to dial back the MAN a bit, but who doesn’t love ‘Murica? And what’s more ‘Murica than a line of highly rated trucks? That’s right. Quit wasting money on branding RAM, it’s not fetch and like SRT it’s really never going to catch on. Let it go. (I realize Sergio did this to make it simpler in the eventual fire sale) The car line-up starts with the compact Dart (with hatch variant) and has an actual mid-sizer and finishes with the Charger. Don’t forget the Challenger (smaller Alfa base) Crossovers? Nah. Durango becomes a Truck based SUV again. Build a van that can fufill both the minivan and light duty workvan role (like the connect or V-class)
Jeep: Home of the crossover! Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but Jeep is actually in it’s right place, even with the crossovers. The only addition I’d do is a super lux Grand Cherokee for those fat profit margins. Tasty, tasty margins. Looking at you RR. One of the few unbroken brands and has serious appeal from 20k to 100k.
Alfa: Yes, Alfa. Mmmmm. Bread and butter, 2/3 series fighter. Small(ish) RWD sports sedan/ coupe/convertible. Name it with a dartboard, who cares? Then add a mid-size RWD sedan/FX-like “performance” crossover. This would be the Challenger’s platform. If you wanted to order a beautiful sedan with a Maserati V8...well I think that could be arranged. I would also continue experimenting with limited sports cars/ GT’s like the 4C and 8C. Prices (like other near luxury cars) start a bit above 30k and go up depending on the options, but still leaving room for...
Maserati: The often forgotten Italian auto marque. (Has anyone figured out how to pronounce Ghibli?) Entry level model, a safe standard mid+ sedan. Fine, but for a coupe? Try a 3 door Shooting Brake. Who hasn’t had a 4 door coupe by now? So passè. This... is a big risk. Huge in fact. But if the ship is going down, you may as well take it. A beautiful design can put Maserati back in the game. It worked for Mercedes’ CLS. Not that they were out of it, but it did shift attitudes after the late 90’s malaise. The Shooting Brake would grab attention. Conversations that aren’t happening; “Hey have you heard about Johnson in senior executive marketing buying the new Maserati Gibraltar?” Conversations that will happen; “Did you see Johnson’s new Maserati in the parking lot? That thing is (beautiful/weird/a real piece of work)“ So often I hear defenses of ugly cars* along the lines of “At least it’s not boring/divisive/controversial”. For the full size Quattroporte, we get back into a more conservative mindset. No one likes a full size sedan that tries too hard.
With the jettison of Ferrari to the highest bidder, what will American-Fiat (new working name) race? Let’s see.... we have a modestly priced roadster based on the most popular track car of all time... a proper RWD sedan from one of the most anticipated brands (even Europe has to be interested in a RWD Alfa) and I’ve heard rumors that Maserati’s used to know their way arond a track. So I’m thinking Fiata and even the Dart should cover grassroots events, the Alfa numbersoup obviously competing anywhere a 3 series does and the Maserati Shooting Brake competing against GT1 type cars. Let’s see how that goes before testing a return to the clusterfuck of F1 (you think I’m not going to try to beat Ferrari?).
Yes, it’s enthusiast leaning (I gave you bean counters crossovers!) but this company doesn’t have the brightest future anyways, why not let me crash it into the ground in a fun way! Plus, I bet I’m asking for a much smaller compensation package than Sergio. Already saving you money!