FCA Claims It’s Going After Tesla With Future Lineup


Performance, not eco-friendliness, might be the biggest EV selling point in the future

Just a few years earlier, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was keeping away from electric cars like their life depended on it. Their first all-electric model – the Fiat 500 – proved to be a huge flop. The Italian carmaker aimed at potential customers looking for a piece of motoring history wrapped up in a new design & tech, the car didn’t sell well. And furthermore rubbing salt into the wound, Fiat lost $10,000 on each Fiat 500 EV they’ve sold. But, right now, that seems to be changing. And for FCA, putting an emphasis on performance is what will separate this company and their products from the rest of the pack.

Ever since electric vehicles were introduced, the key selling point was ecology. But, as with most cars, the environment-friendly aspect only went so far and these days, more people are buying an electric car due to performance, than due to the environment-friendly tech. For most owners, motoring is all about freedom and excitement. Something that Tesla Motors captured really well. When the first examples of the Tesla Model S and Model X started ruining the day for owners of high-performance ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles, it became apparent that EV brings more to the table than sheer environmentally-friendly aspect. And with every scalp the Model s P100D took on the drag strip, the performance aspect of fully electric cars started to draw a much broader audience to the EV world.

Consequently, with the old guard – like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – joining in on the festivities, the performance is becoming an even bigger selling point. And this puts a huge target on Tesla’s back.

With FCA, their aim is to pretty much electrify every model they have in their range. But, the company will take electrification in a wholly different way. While their entire lineup is soon to be electrified, the company aims to draw most of the customer attention thanks to high-performance electric models from Alfa Romeo and Maserati – something we’re sure will delight fans of beautiful high-performance Italian machines. Within a few years, FCA aims to have virtually all future products from Alfa Romeo and Maserati offered in hybrid, plug-in or all-electric versions.

Maserati Alfieri concept

“Everything gets electrified,” Tim Kuniskis, the head of the two FCA premium brands, told NBCNews in an exclusive interview late last month. “Look at our product portfolio and you see we’re going after Tesla,” minus a direct competitor for the base, $35,000 Model 3.

The biggest change for FCA is how they envision their power lineup. Their strategy underlines a future where plug-in hybrids and all-electric models sit at the top of their product range, with lower ends filled with a mixture of ICE, plug-in hybrid and EV vehicles. In the line of that, the lower end of the performance scale for FCA will be kept mostly for low-performance four-cylinder engines. These will be followed by higher and higher-power output six-cylinder, eight-cylinder and twin-turbo eight-cylinder engines, finally ending with the aforementioned high-performance all-electric variants.

For FCA, this presents a solid strategy and with a plan like that, it gives them several advantages over their competitors. Statistically, for the high-performance models, the price is never going to be the most important deciding factor. The sheer acceleration and top speed numbers, however, are a completely different story. Throw in the mix the well-known handling prowess and cornering performance that’s part of both Alfa Romeo and Maserati’s DNA, and FCA might actually have a winner on their hands.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t the only one adopting a performance-oriented EV strategy

If you looked at the current trends in the luxury high-performance vehicle world, you’ll notice two things: one, the fastest performance models ever built are using some kind of a hybrid powertrain. Two, for the most appealing vehicles, revealed in the last twelve months – whether marketing or hype wise – hybrid powertrains or full electrification were the norm. For the old guard like Porsche with the 917 Spyder, Ferrari with the LaFerrari or McLaren with the P1, going the hybrid way was the choice. For newcomers like Rimac Automobili with their C2 or NIO with the EP9, full electric was the chosen way.

The next few years will see some rather exciting new all-electric vehicles hit the market. The likes of a Porsche Taycan – what some call the first fully electric Porsche 911 – or the Polestar P1, joined by several rumored hybrids from Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, will all tick those performance boxes for their would-be customers. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the decision to concentrate their efforts on fully electric high-performance machines may be the most exciting news we’ve heard all year.

Source: NBC News

Categories: Chrysler, Fiat, Tesla

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53 Comments on "FCA Claims It’s Going After Tesla With Future Lineup"

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With the base Model 3 doing 0-100 km/h in a little more than 5 s, how many customers will be convinced by ‘even more performance’?

I’d rather say they focus on design. Performance will be sufficient for 99% of customers by the time they finally bring their ‘Tesla fighters’ to market.

Model 3 rips to 60 in 4.7 sec

LR yes, SR no.

Are you basing that on the Model 3 SR you own?

How can you ever compare “iPad sofas” within real cars?? I dont get it?!? You people remind me on the Apple fans so much… You are buying specs and not a real car there! Last is a fact!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Just got a robo-call on my cell today from FCA. They offered me, as a current PHEV owner, an extra $1k off the Pacifica hybrid in addition to any other current offer. Still like to know who they purchased my info from…. Anyways, at least they are actively trying to move those vans. 20 years ago, I’d would have been all over that model.

I drove an Alfa Romeo and before I knew if Chrysler was spamming me.

Very tacky to say the least.

Jealous of you! My robo calls are either scams to get my credit card or they are in Chinese. You’re a spam lucky person.

I got the same. So, blocked it and informed Google along with no-call list that they are spamming a cell.

It looks like FCA’s Dodge division is tired of putting disclaimers on how their cars are slower than the Tesla Model S, and has finally figured out they are going to have to join Tesla in making fast EV’s if they have any chance at beating them.


To which I say: Dive in! The water is warm. The more the merrier.

But the quickest stock 1/4 mile Dodge Demon times ARE quicker And Faster than the Tesla. As well as faster top speed and roll on acceleration. They may not have even been focusing on Tesla in that disclaimer.

There is a phrase that perfectly describes FCA’s strategy: “throwing spaghetti at the wall”. Maybe they should throw the whole plate – spaghetti, meatballs, sauce and all.

Really astute observation. I’ve kept saying luxury touring was the first place EVs made sense, and competition has been due for a long time.

What also remains understated, IMO, is Model 3 weighing ~3,700 pounds. We’ll see how many of these other makers compete, on that stat. Bolt and i3 (CFRP, I mean c’mon) are same weight/lighter, but their looks and other attributes exclude the comparisons Tesla’s 3 will see (Audi A4, 3-series, C-class). All weigh not much less than Model 3.

Competing with Tesla also means not just the car but also the Supercharging network. What’s your little plan for that, there, FCA?


Most importantly, competing with Tesla means having a lot of batteries coming from somewhere, and the same is valuable for the article about Volvo intention to mass product a Tesla Model 3 competitor with an “expected” (?) 350 miles. Chinese battery companies will be very happy to furnish them…

Tesla offered to share their network with other car makers as long as they pay their fair share. Not joining Tesla’s ready-to-go network seems short sighted to me.

Once they finally sharpen their pencils and do the $ math, I have a feeling you will see manufacturers approaching Tesla to use their Supercharging network.

Did FCA fire Sergio?

Did he hit his head on something?

He put his fingers in a power outlet and…had a vision, an electric one!

FCA is by far the best performing automotive stock for the last year or so.

You appear to have mistaken this website for Seeking Alpha, or Motley Fool, or Yahoo Finance. Those websites are, thankfully, several clicks away.

This discussion is about EVs, not about stock investments.

“Their first all-electric model – the Fiat 500 – proved to be a huge flop” not sure that this is true, its still being sold, owners are very happy with its performance and although not the highest selling EV model, its production constrained rather than sales constrained.
Think the author was just trying to build some excitement into the text without following data/facts.

It’s a Flop mainly because the CEO did not believe in his own product that he brought to market.

And because they lose $10K on every one they sell.

They lost $10,000 Per Fiat EV…lol… Judging by that they should be able to lose at least $50,000 per Maserati ! …lmao

How much did Tesla lose per car in Q1 over $25K,so FCA came out way ahead in that metric.

Tesla is a start-up that is killing it.

I’d say FCA is feeling the Self-inflicted cold water in the face.

Killing it,you mean the model 3, they’ve apparently mudered 20k 3’s, and buried them somewhere in the desert.

Stand-up is not working for you man.

Captain Obvious says: Tesla did not lose any money at all. It invested a lot of money in — successfully! — ramping up Model 3 production.

If you’re not able to understand that very basic difference, then you need to quit investing.

How are they taking electrification in a wholly different way, if they are going after Tesla on performance? Lots of companies are trying that. By the time they catch up to where Tesla is, Tesla will be farther ahead.

Right. It’s laughable to talk about a plan to “electrify” their existing lineup being a “wholly different way”. No, sadly it’s what just about every legacy auto maker is doing.

The quote below is still as relevant today as it was several years ago when it was new:

“Until we see Audi, Mercedes, VW, Toyota, GM, Ford deliver a BEV that similarly dusts their own top-of-line ICE product in performance AND value for money, there will be no effective BEV competition for Tesla. And this isn’t going to happen for a LONG time, not for technical reasons, but because ICE carmakers cannot remain viable companies if they start killing off their highest margin products. The ICE carmakers will put batteries into version of their products for the customers who ask for ‘the electric one’. They will build low-end, compliance BEVs to earn the ZEV credits they need without cannibalizing their high-end ICEs. They will build hybrids and PHEVs to get their CAFE and CO2 g/km numbers. But they aren’t going to deliberately kill off their top profit making products just to compete with Tesla — at least not until Tesla gets a whole lot bigger than they are now.” — Randy Carlson

You are contradicting yourself. The quote explains why so far legacy makers were only doing compliance cars. But now many legacy makers are actually starting to take it from the top, like Tesla. This *is* a significant shift for them — though of course it’s not a “new” approach in the sense of FCA doing it first…

“After” seems to be the key. About ten years after. And,OBTW, every BEV sold by any manufacturer is another step closer to Musks goal. Tesla is just the pry bar he has been using to force them to change directions.

But their chief told people not to buy their electric vehicle, so how will they sell.
At least now they made a U-turn, goodness. Even now they are planning to go electric only with Maserati/Alfa Romeo. They should make an Electric Jeep.

I sometimes try to imagine what the EV-related conversations are like inside various car makers. By far the most intriguing example is FCA. This article sounds like some people sat down with some high level execs and said, “Look, even if you hate EVs, they’re coming. You can ignore them and be run over, or you can join the transition and very likely stick around for another 50+ years. What’s it gonna be?”

The Maserati looks really good.

It sounds delicious to… I hope they can make the electric ones sound good as well.

All of these companies want to compete, but nobody can match the super charger network!

What I don’t understand is why they don’t just join it? They aren’t deeply into EVs yet, so why not build their designs around the anticipated use of Tesla’s superchargers?

Because no major auto maker would put itself at the mercy of a competitor in such an important way. If General Motors owned all the gas stations, what do you think would happen to Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, BMW, FCA, Nissan, Mercedes, and all the other auto makers? How long do you think they would last?

Depends of course where you live, but there are chargers all over the place here.
It is the least of my concerns about buying an EV.
For me would wireless charging be a cool feature. Just park, and charge.

Define all over the place⁉️

Where do you live⁉️

“With FCA, their aim is to pretty much electrify every model they have in their range.”

This is downright embarrassing for FCA. When are legacy auto makers going to get a clue?

Nobody is going to compete with Tesla, nor the Jaguar I-Pace, nor the Nissan Leaf, nor even the Chevy Bolt EV, by making an “electrified” version of a gasmobile.

Captain Obvious says: Compelling, desirable plug-in EVs are designed and built from the ground up to *be* EVs. They’re not made by removing the ICE powertrain from a gasmobile and awkwardly shoving in an EV powertrain!

FCA doesn’t have a plan for success; this is a plan for failure.

Cant believe they dont use Lancia as their main electric brand. Would be a better fit imho than alfa.

Yes, how fitting it is to choose a brand that always had a reputation for crap electrics on their cars like Alfa to be their electric brand! lol

I don’t understand articles like this one. I mean, I do get that the source article is from an outlet that doesn’t have much understanding of the EV sector, and thus contains various more or less nonsensical statements. But why repeat such statements that everyone on this site should know they are nonsensical? And why add insult to injury by omitting some important aspects from the source article, making the result even more nonsensical?… The 500e is *not* a flop. It’s a compliance car. It’s doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Yes, part of FCA’s new strategy is taking it from the top — but they are *also* doubling down on the 500 series, which they believe can be profitable in the future due to its rather unique status outside normal pricing structures. I’m positive it’s not true that more people are now buying EVs because of performance rather than eco-friendliness. Of course performance making them desirable is a very important aspect, but that doesn’t mean the other aspect suddenly becomes irrelevant. What makes them cool is the fact that they are *both* performant *and* eco-friendly! The Taycan is *nothing* like an electric 911. It’s like an electric… Read more »
this is silly. EVs big hits will have nothing to do with the environment. It will be about performance, low costs, and local energy. In CHina, the environment is going to get WORSE, not better as they move to EVs. BUT, Chinese gov is doing this because they want to quit importing oil, try to take over the heavy manufacturing (needed for future war), and each year, China installs more coal based electrical plants than they do AE. Yes, they speak constantly about AE, and many of the leftist idiots on line here simply follow along with that, but many of those postings are basically from CHinese manipulators. Here in the west, it will be about performance for the manufacturers, while it will be costs for owners. Even now, when somebody in the west claims that it is about environment, they like to point to their solar system. Yet, the systems RARELY support these homes, but more importantly, how many ppl only plug-in when the sun is shining? The answer is few to none. IOW, they are getting their charge from the grid, but lying to themselves and everybody else. Note that we own a Tesla Model S, along with… Read more »

Leftist idiot?
What’s that?