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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2015/dodge/dodge-v8s-and-ram-trucks-closer-49233

A visit to Australia by one of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' top global product planning bosses shapes as a crucial step in the local campaign for right-hand drive versions of the Dodge Hellcat and SRT (Street and Race Technology) V8s as well as RAM trucks and other future pick-ups such as the much mooted Jeep Wrangler ute.

Stephen J Bartoli is FCA’s international product planning chief and will be in Australia at the invitation of newly installed FCA Australia boss Pat Dougherty late in February.

Dougherty, who started in the job just before Christmas, has quickly got the message about the local frustration that many appealing vehicles in the group – which comprises Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Fiat Professional – are not available in right-hand drive.

It helps that he was driving a supercharged 527kW Hellcat back in the USA and is in a 300C SRT8 here, as well as being an avowed fan of pick-up trucks.

“If I were sitting down here I would be pretty frustrated too,” said Dougherty. “So I would say this, nothing has been given the green light yet, but I don’t want to be frustrated for a long time so hopefully we can have another conversation soon.”

Dougherty believes Bartoli’s approval will grow the chances of the halo V8s and iconic pick-ups making it to Australia.

“I think he can help,” said Dougherty when asked specifically about Bartoli’s potential assistance getting the booming V8s here. “It’s exciting and we are three-quarters of the way there on that.”

And he said Bartoli already had a good understanding of the strength of the local pick-up market: “It’s critical to get Steve in and show him. He has a good idea about what trucks are sold in this market and getting him here would help us add that voice on making the decision on the next-generation product that is coming out – the next-generation RAM, the next-generation whatever…”

Dougherty believes the entry-level RAM 1500 pick-up line can mix it with the likes of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. In total the Australia 4x2 and 4x4 Ute segments were worth more than 180,000 sales in 2014.

“That’s where I want to be. I want the 1500 absolutely,” he said. “I think I have to do a little more homework on that but I don’t see a huge difference between that HiLux four-door truck and our RAM 1500. They are pretty close when you look at their size and capability and stuff like that.”

On the mooted Jeep Wrangler pick-up he added: “I think this would be a great market for that product. So I would like to see the Jeep pick-up in this market absolutely.”

Dougherty’s drive to add performance V8s such as the Dodge Challenger and Charger to FCA’s local line-up makes sense considering the locally-built performance Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore will expire by the end of 2017.

Ford is importing the Mustang from the USA from this year as its new performance halo model, while Holden will also be bringing in a two-door coupe from around late 2017, which could be Camaro, Corvette or some other yet to be revealed car.

At the moment FCA’s local V8 passenger car performance line-up centres on the 6.4-litre nat-atmo 300C SRT8, which is effectively only built for this market after being killed off in the USA, where Dodge and Jeep have the lock on SRT models.

Dougherty says Dodge, which currently ambles along in Australia offering only the Journey people-mover, would appeal to Australian performance car fans.

“I think the brand in Australia is almost identical with what the brand is in North America. In North America they want some offering that is performance, that is capable, that is fun to drive, that gives you the experience that when you start up your car and you hear the roar of the engine you get excited, and then the neighbours smile too.

“I am absolutely onboard for doing that ... “(but) until we get a green light on a project I don’t want to put it out there that we are doing something.”
 

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"Dougherty believes the entry-level RAM 1500 pick-up line can mix it with the likes of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger."

I mean he's the expert, but I don't know about that one. Maybe a global midsize truck developed for both Fiat and Ram would be best? :confused:

The entire Charger lineup, styling aside, seems like it'd really be a good successor to what the Commodore and Falcon have become. But of course Chrysler is going to be the volume brand whereas it looks like Dodge won't be that prominent in many non-NA markets.
 

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"Dougherty believes the entry-level RAM 1500 pick-up line can mix it with the likes of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger."

I mean he's the expert, but I don't know about that one. Maybe a global midsize truck developed for both Fiat and Ram would be best? :confused:

The entire Charger lineup, styling aside, seems like it'd really be a good successor to what the Commodore and Falcon have become. But of course Chrysler is going to be the volume brand whereas it looks like Dodge won't be that prominent in many non-NA markets.
I can see the 1500 "mixing" with global pick ups as the Ranger was to close in size to the F150 to bring it stateside + it would deb like the UTE and the pick ups do get along and each offers something
BUT I think a JEEP pickup would absolutely KILL anything globally and is "right sized" for global trucks
 

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I can see the 1500 "mixing" with global pick ups as the Ranger was to close in size to the F150 to bring it stateside + it would deb like the UTE and the pick ups do get along and each offers something
BUT I think a JEEP pickup would absolutely KILL anything globally and is "right sized" for global trucks
A Jeep pickup is indeed a no brainer.
 

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A Jeep pickup is indeed a no brainer.
How many years has a Wrangler pickup been a no-brainer...don't get why they don't do it. Manufacturing capacity perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Chrysler has a Capacity issue with every model they have with the exception of the dart and people wonder why they cant sell 50k a month of high volume models.. there isnt available space to build such pick up. Also think about this, what should this pick up excel in?? Towing??Cause you know wranglers have poor tow rating, should be lower than a Cherokee. Offroading?? Maybe but a dont expect to see a quad cab wrangler pick up with a decent size bed because the dimensions required for such will make it not as off road worthy as you think.
 

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Chrysler has a Capacity issue with every model they have. and people wonder why they cant sell 50k a month of high volume models.. there isnt available space to build such pick up. Also think about this, what should this pick up excel in?? Towing??Cause you know wranglers have poor tow rating, should be slower than a Cherokee. Offroading?? Maybe but a dont expect to see a 4 door wrangler pick up with a decent size bed because the dimensions required for such will make it not as off road worthy as you think.
it would be better off road then most of the competitive trucks and the JEEP name/looks would help seal the deal sales wise and in the conversion to truck the towing /payload capacity could be jigged to be competitive
I thought there where FIAT plants around suffering from LOW capacity utilization
 

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Also think about this, what should this pick up excel in?? Towing??Cause you know wranglers have poor tow rating, should be lower than a Cherokee. Offroading?? Maybe but a dont expect to see a quad cab wrangler pick up with a decent size bed because the dimensions required for such will make it not as off road worthy as you think.
The Wrangler PU wouldn't be marketed heavily for what it could tow, its mileage, etc. The Wrangler PU is about the now-iconic Jeep Wrangler look with look/functionality of a PU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
it would be better off road then most of the competitive trucks and the JEEP name/looks would help seal the deal sales wise and in the conversion to truck the towing /payload capacity could be jigged to be competitive
I thought there where FIAT plants around suffering from LOW capacity utilization
Not with the toolings for wranglers.
 
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