BIG CHRYSLERS DOOMED

ICONIC USA BRAND

Chrysler's big cruiser future is now looking glum if traditional cars are your thing. According to the recentlyreleased five-year plan for the Fiat Chrysler group it will turn its attention entirely to autonomous hybrids.

The 'winners' from any inter-brand rivalry within the group may prove to be Jeep, Alfa Romeo (for which a supercar is mooted), Maserati and Fiat, with Dodge becoming the USA performance flagship and RAM developing further as a brand in its own right.

Jeep will be particularly prominent in the near future, with ambitious plans for growth in Europe and China, according to the 'road map' laid out by departing CEO Sergio Marchionne.

As for Chrysler, there are no replacements for the ageing 300C and petrol-driven people mover ranges on the horizon. Instead the historic marque will be the standardbearer for the autonomous people-mover project that's underway in partnership with Google's Waymo offshoot.

Locally, the 300C is Chrysler's only remaining product. The 300 nameplate was revived internationally with big sedans and wagons from 2005, with a secondgeneration car appearing in 2011.

There was talk of perhaps developing a completely new variant based on an Alfa reardrive platform, but that has come to nothing. Does that mean the current generation becomes a collector item? Possibly.

Chrysler began 93 years ago and has had numerous offshoot badges over the years, while developing a once-lively manufacturing presence in Australia.

Marchionne has been responsible for leading FCA out of challenging financial times in recent years, and the share price has lifted 95 per cent in the last 12 months.