The Chrysler brand will disappear from the UK market in 2017.
The news, which has come as little surprise, has been confirmed today by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK management.
British sales of Chrysler models have been steadily declining in recent years – according to Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders figures, the brand registered only 1,982 vehicles in 2014, down 21 per cent from the 2,515 of 2013 and the close to 3,500 figure recorded in 2012. When you take out the inevitable dealer demonstrators, press fleet, hospitality, sponsorship and other self-registered vehicles, it means that precious few Britons actually bought a new Chrysler in 2014.
Attractive and distinctive models such as the 300C saloon/estate and the Grand Voyager people carrier formerly brought success for Chrysler in the UK, but sales of these have been virtually killed off by increasingly stringent emissions regulations, high fuel prices and a move away from MPV-based vehicles.
Following the global brand’s rescue by Fiat in 2011 Chrysler launched two new models: the Ypsilon supermini – built on the same platform as the Fiat 500 – and the VW Golf-sized Delta, both of which were effectively Lancia models rebadged for the UK market.
However the slow-selling Delta was quietly dropped in 2014, leaving the Ypsilon as the only major model in the UK line-up.
The Car Expert understands that Fiat’s brand realignment will also see Lancia withdrawn from all European markets apart from Italy, where it still enjoys a viable share of the market.
In the UK, FCA will focus its American efforts on Chrysler’s sister brand Jeep. The iconic US badge is on the expansion trail in Britain, particularly with its newly-launched Renegade model.