(WXYZ) - The unveiling of a new corporate name, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and sign outside the automaker’s Auburn Hills headquarters was the start to a busy day.
CEO Sergio Marchionne kicked off the daylong event that outlined the company’s plans for the next five years.
Among the projections: officials expect sales of its Chrysler and Jeep brand to more than double over the next five years.
The company also announced the Dodge Caravan will be eliminated in 2016, leaving the Chrysler Town and Country as the flagship mini-van. Dodge will become a high performance brand, targeting younger buyers.
Also ahead in 2016, a plug-in hybrid electric mini-van will be introduced.
The financial community, dealers, suppliers, labor representatives and industry analysts were on hand for a first hand accounting of the forecasts.
“They’re serious about not only shoring up their position here in the U.S. and in North America but globally,” said Jeffery Shuster, an analyst at LMC Automotive.
The company also announced its intentions to expand production of its iconic Jeep brand of vehicles to six countries by 2018. Currently all of the vehicles are produced in the U.S.
“It has a very strong image and I thin leveraging Jeep is certainly a necessary and strong initiative to look for global growth,” Schuster said.
Despite the optimistic projections from executives, the company must successfully execute those plans, according to Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive.
“The numbers that they’ve talked about today are higher than HIS has forecast right now, but if you don’t have an ambitious target, it’s hard to get to an ambitious target, so it’s nice to see some optimism there as well,” Brinley said.