It is no secret that Fiat Chrysler Group (FCA) has been struggling as of late. Since the Italian automaker took control, the company has been trying to regain some of its former glory and in several cases; it appears to be mission accomplished. In others, however, FCA has failed miserably. Now, transmission recalls of the popular Jeep Cherokee and the recent death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin threaten to diminish the brand even further.
With this as the backdrop, it is no great surprise the company has announced plans to drop several models from their lineup before the end of the year. In particular, the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 will be discontinued starting this fall and before the calendar turns to 2017, the Jeep Patriot and Compass will also get the boot.
For the most part, the new generation Dodge Dart never caught on with consumers. At its peak in 2013, the model sold 9,870 units in Canada, but never managed to increase that number, or even reproduce it in the years that followed. Sales of the new Chrysler 200 have been equally anemic and the company has finally run out of patience.
FCA group has announced that it will convert the Dodge Dart manufacturing facility in Belvidere, Illinois to increase production of the Jeep Cherokee. Moving Cherokee production to the Belvidere, IL plant allows the Toledo, Ohio facility to increase production of the still popular Jeep Wrangler. In the meantime, there is talk of a replacement for the Dart and 200, but no official plans have been released at this time.