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FCA Still Competes in Dying Passenger Car Segments!

For Those Who Think The Complete Focus Is On Trucks, SUVs & Crossovers...

It has been well documented that mainstream sedan sales have plummeted in the past few years. Consumers are choosing crossovers and other utility vehicles much more often as they have begun to value the benefits of higher ground clearance, all-weather capability, and additional cargo and passenger room. The hatchback in these utility vehicles is a huge benefit to consumers as well, many of whom complain about the small “mail slot” trunk opening of modern sedans compared to those of the past. Because of the increased value on practicality and capability, the market has shifted to favor crossovers leading several automakers to axe many of their sedans to focus on building more profitable utility vehicles.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso in Lipari Gray. (Alfa Romeo)

FCA was the first major automaker to announce that they would be abandoning the mainstream compact and midsize sedan segments in which the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 resided. The Dart was criticized for its lack of power and refinement while the 200 provided less passenger room than its competitors. These characteristics led to dismal sales numbers in comparison to competitors, leading FCA to axe both vehicles in the middle of their lifecycles. Many of long-time Mopar supporters have taken issue with this move, as they were supposedly in the market for a mainstream sedan.

2018 Maserati Quattroporte GTS. (Maserati)

Mainstream sedans have not been the only suffering segment in the passenger car market. Coupes have also become less valued as more utility vehicles are offering an unbeatable blend of practicality and performance, including FCA’s own Grand Cherokee and Durango models and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Sales performance of the Chevrolet Camaro has been shockingly low for the latest generation, leading some to speculate that the Camaro’s days are numbers. Chevy has recently attempted to correct this decline with a polarizing update to the Camaro, though that decision may prove fatal for the pony car as the refresh has been widely criticized for its gaping grille.

2018 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack (Left) and Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker (Right). (Dodge)

Although sedan sales have taken a nosedive and coupes appear to be the next recipient of the move toward practicality, FCA remains in the dying segments for those who are willing to put performance over practicality. FCA still offers a variety of sedans and coupes, including the Dodge Challenger and Charger, Chrysler 300, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Maserati Ghibli, Quattroporte, and GranTurismo.

SedanSales.jpg

Sales data shows that, although they aren’t the top contenders in their segments when viewed separately, the Chrysler 300 (blue) and Dodge Charger (green) have been relatively immune to the declining sales and sales have remained flat compared to some of their competitors. Charger sales in particular have remained strong, likely thanks to the continued investment in special editions and other enhancements to keep demand high.

Even with though they aren’t playing in the compact and midsize segments anymore, FCA still offers a variety of vehicles for those who are still interested in passenger cars. Although the future is murky for passenger cars and we’ve even heard rumors of the 300 being axed, as of right now, FCA is one of the few brands with a full lineup of passenger cars spanning various segments.

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