Stories of tie-ups, outright sales of brands, individual brand off-loading, Chinese investors taking over have been discussed in the past few weeks.
Well, so far nothing concrete has materialised as perhaps FCA is weighing various options. The latest news hitting the internet is that there could be a tie-up with Volkswagen in the commercial vehicle segment.
Although in nascent stage, it could be possible that FCA charts a route similar to what Mercedes-Benz had with Nissan when it wanted to develop a mid-sized lifestyle truck.
If the synergy was to go ahead, Volkswagen and FCA could co-develop a small, city-friendly car-based van like the Ram ProMaster City and the Volkswagen Caddy, and utilise the next generation of Volkswagen’s Amarok pickup truck. The alliance would be limited to light-duty commercial vehicles.
The choice of using the Amarok is interesting because it’s a mid-size model like the Ford Ranger sold overseas and the Chevrolet Colorado/ GMC Canyon twins.
Co-developing a unibody truck the size of the Amarok would likely give FCA’s Ram brand a decent a successor to the current Dodge Dakota.
Whether Volkswagen will reciprocate is the million dollar question as the brand is known to drop out of alliance talks unless there’s a bullet-proof business case.
Neither Volkswagen nor FCA has released any formal communication on this report. VWs current Amarok is scheduled to get replaced by the end of the decade, so a deal will make sense if both entities agree to co-share or split development costs.