When Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne announced in January that the company would be outsourcing production of its compact and midsize sedans, dealers were told that it would “solidify partnering opportunities” to ensure product availability for the segments.
To date, FCA has been unable to secure an arrangement with another manufacturer to produce the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.
Production of the Dart is scheduled to end in September so that the FCA assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois can be reconfigured to build the Jeep Cherokee, while production of the Chrysler 200 is slated to end in December to allow the assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan to be retooled to produce the 2018 Ram 1500.
AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan maintains that manufacturing constraints and declining sales make it difficult to prioritize the Dart and 200. “No one wants to build sedans when their own capacity is at a premium and they can’t build enough crossovers to satisfy demand,” he said.
Through June, Dart sales were down 41 percent to 29,079 units, while Chrysler 200 sales were down 62 percent to 40,981 units.
The two sedans currently maintain high inventory levels, with the Dart having a 126-day supply and the Chrysler 200 able to meet demand for another 90 days.