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Old 06-12-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Fiat Could Kill off Dodge by 2016: Report

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Dodge’s ranks have been thinning ever since RAM took over the pickup truck business, and next year, Chrysler’s volume brand will cease production of the Avenger, leaving behind a gaping hole in its lineup. This raises the question: Is Dodge headed for the crusher?

With these products gone or going, the alarming question has been raised by Ward’s Auto in a recent report outlining the product shortages at Dodge. And the dearth of new models is going to get worse, Ward’s reports, citing inside sources that at least two more products are already being prepared for migration to Chrysler or discontinuation. Those vehicles are likely the Dodge Grand Caravan, which will probably be sent to Chrysler and sold exclusively as the Town and Country, and the Avenger, which we already know is set to be discontinued.

That leaves Dodge with the Durango, Challenger, Charger, Dart and Journey. The latter two now ride on Fiat derived platforms. The Dart is currently built at the brand’s Belvidere, IL, plant and will be joined by the Chrysler 100 in 2016, while the Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont replacement is set to be built in Sterling Heights, MI. Thanks to platform sharing, both the Dart and Journey will have a Chrysler or Fiat equivalent vehicle that can step in as their replacement. As for the Challenger, rumors have been circulating about the the Barracuda nameplate being revived and stepping in as a Challenger replacement, possibly as a second stand-alone product under the new SRT brand – the first product being the new Viper.

The Charger doesn’t have a direct copy that could spin off into another Chrysler brand, but the 300 could theoretically pick up the slack, while the Durango is already built alongside the more popular Jeep Grand Cherokee on the same underpinnings.

So it does seam feasible that Dodge could be discontinued and its products spread out between other Chrysler nameplates, but whether or not Fiat wants to keep Dodge around for the long term is another question unto itself. The year 2016 will mark the climax of several product upgrades and manufacturing changes for Chrysler, all of which started in 2009 when Fiat took an equity stake in the company. If Fiat is looking to dump the Dodge brand, it will be decided by 2016 once all of these manufacturing changes take place.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Yeah, that whole brand is pretty tainted. I would never own a Dodge anything.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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Good riddance.

they have not had a compelling product in years.
The dart has just been released.

If Sergio's plan is to ax dodge and bring Alfa Romeo in, I am all for it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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This is indeed a washed up brand. Needs a complete reboot.

Though what the heck is going to happen to the Caravan? Sell it strictly under Ram? I thought that crap still sold well.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Let me just say that when I hear 'Dodge', I listen.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:13 PM   #6
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Crap brand. Get rid of it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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If trucks/commercial vehicles have been moved to RAM, performance vehicles to SRT, and normal cars to Chrysler, there is little reason for Dodge to exist. That being said, I have always felt dodge had much better branding/image than Chrysler. Dodge always seemed more youthful and sporty to me, just like Pontiac vs Chevy (and see where that ended up...).

The Chrysler brand reminds me of Lincoln, trying to be a budget luxury brand with no strong products and an aging demographic. FIAT/Chrysler needs to make the Chrysler brand relevant again before they can kill Dodge.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4RBON_F1BER View Post
If trucks/commercial vehicles have been moved to RAM, performance vehicles to SRT, and normal cars to Chrysler, there is little reason for Dodge to exist. That being said, I have always felt dodge had much better branding/image than Chrysler. Dodge always seemed more youthful and sporty to me, just like Pontiac vs Chevy (and see where that ended up...).

The Chrysler brand reminds me of Lincoln, trying to be a budget luxury brand with no strong products and an aging demographic. FIAT/Chrysler needs to make the Chrysler brand relevant again before they can kill Dodge.
I used to think Dodge:Plymouth::Pontiac:Chevrolet and Chrysler: Dodge::Cadillac:Pontiac. (had to space those : Ds out or I got s)

In the 1950s and 60s Mopar also had Imperial and DeSoto as separate brands so Imperial:Chrysler: DeSoto: Dodge:Plymouth::Cadillac:Buick:Oldsmobile:Pontiac: Chevrolet. Even Valiant was its own brand for a few years before becoming a Plymouth model.

The problem with having Chrysler just becoming the all non-performance car division is that it makes it very hard for it to be positioned as a luxury or near-luxury brand. Taking two models meant to be Plymouths (Prowler, PT Cruiser) and badging them as Chryslers didn't help. Then again maybe they've given up on that.

(yeah I had fun typing that)
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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But if Chevy can sell a 45k SS, then Chrysler can move a 48k 300C and still fill the sub 20k void with other models (maybe, at least for a while with a 500-1000 premium, the 100C should be a good representation of this at starting in the low 20s just like a legacy).

Question is do you try to remake Dodge, or recategorize Chrysler
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:29 PM   #10
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I'm so ****ing glad to see the Avenger die.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #11
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As a long time Mopar guy, this is sad to hear, but Dodge did this to itself. It's a horribly mismanaged company that has no idea what it wants it's image to be. Not to mention they cut two of their more popular models when they had the financial issues (Magnum and Neon), yet kept turds like the Avenger. Cutting the Magnum in particular is a complete head-scratcher.

Then they come out with the Dart, and hoot and hollar about the coming SRT Dart ... then of course they scrap the SRT model for some reason, despite the fact that the old SRT4 was one of their most well received cars. What they do simply makes no sense.

Aside from that, quality is low. I took a short break from Subaru and bought a new 2011 Charger R/T. In the 8 months I owned it, I had to bring it in for 2 recalls and 2 other weird issues they never could get fixed. Sure the new tech and interior materials were nice, but the car simply was not fun to drive and seemed to have a new goofy issue every week.

Needless to say I quickly recognized my mistake, and went crawling back to Subaru to beg their forgiveness and order a 2012 WRX. I did not even care about the financial hit, I just wanted out of the Dodge ASAP .
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyPitbull View Post
As a long time Mopar guy, this is sad to hear, but Dodge did this to itself. It's a horribly mismanaged company that has no idea what it wants it's image to be. Not to mention they cut two of their more popular models when they had the financial issues (Magnum and Neon), yet kept turds like the Avenger. Cutting the Magnum in particular is a complete head-scratcher.

Then they come out with the Dart, and hoot and hollar about the coming SRT Dart ... then of course they scrap the SRT model for some reason, despite the fact that the old SRT4 was one of their most well received cars. What they do simply makes no sense.

Aside from that, quality is low. I took a short break from Subaru and bought a new 2011 Charger R/T. In the 8 months I owned it, I had to bring it in for 2 recalls and 2 other weird issues they never could get fixed. Sure the new tech and interior materials were nice, but the car simply was not fun to drive and seemed to have a new goofy issue every week.

Needless to say I quickly recognized my mistake, and went crawling back to Subaru to beg their forgiveness and order a 2012 WRX. I did not even care about the financial hit, I just wanted out of the Dodge ASAP .
Why are we allowing the Caliber to be forgotten? In my mind it's worse than the Aztek.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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And not a **** was given....
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #14
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I've been doing some thinking , and what I've concluded is that Chrysler/FIAT (company, not brands) don't do mainstream American cars well. The Ram is 3rd place truck. The Dart is hard pressed to compete against the Cruze, Focus, Civic, and Corolla. The Chrysler 200 is practically a ghost compared with its competition. The minivan bubble has burst, and that was the only thing Chrysler was ever the leader in. None of their current products are class leading.

Chrysler/FIAT aren't really strong in the mainstream, so why even bother? They should capitalize in the niche markets that are neglected by everyone else. The FIAT 500/500L can compete with and undercut MINI. Jeep still has a good reputation in off-road. The Alfa Romeo brand would be new and exotic in the US. If I were trying to make FIAT/Chrysler a stong company in the US, I would focus on exciting, passionate products that people buy to stand out.

FIAT - The 500, 500L, and Panda can compete with MINI and other subcompacts, as well as be the fun 2nd car for young families or couples. The brand would focus on being fun, personalized, and frugal.

Alfa Romeo - Alfa would be an affordable, exotic, semi luxury brand in the US. The Giulietta, 159, and 4C would steal sales from the likes of Acura, Lexus, Audi, and Buick. The marketing focus would be on 'passion and soul', an exotic alternative to the dull offerings from Germany and Japan.

Dodge - Dodge would remain a classic "American" brand with big and tough cars and trucks for the midwest and south. RAM would be absorbed by dodge, and the Charger, Durango, and Journey would remain.

SRT - This would be the performance brand, with the Viper and Barracuda. Fast American cars.

Chrysler - would die, since it doesn't have the brand reputation to survive making semi-luxury cars, nor the reliability image to compete with the mainstream. All of their products are boring and not competitive. The company can be called 'Chrysler' to appease the nostalgic.

Jeep - Would remain as is. But they can't dilute their off-road reputation by making crappy little CUVs that can't drive on wet grass.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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When I hear Dodge, I think....

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Old 06-12-2013, 09:04 PM   #16
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it's about time
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skywaffles View Post
Why are we allowing the Caliber to be forgotten? In my mind it's worse than the Aztek.
The Aztek was just ahead of its time...one of the first attempts at a crossover.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #18
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The AMC Eagle was ahead of its time

THe Mini was ahead of its time

Firefly the series was ahead of its time

The Aztek, has never had, nor was there ever a time for that abomination.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by skywaffles View Post
Why are we allowing the Caliber to be forgotten? In my mind it's worse than the Aztek.
In reality it's worse than the Aztek as well. The Aztek is ugly.. but it drives well and is actually a decent car underneath (reliable drivetrain, aluminum suspension components, very clever interior packaging, etc)

The Caliber is a steaming pile from stem to stern. The Caliber's only merit, from my two weeks of renting one, was that it handled surprisingly well.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The AMC Eagle was ahead of its time

THe Mini was ahead of its time

Firefly the series was ahead of its time

The Aztek, has never had, nor was there ever a time for that abomination.
See...even you admit it was so far ahead of its time, its time hasn't come yet!
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #21
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In reality it's worse than the Aztek as well. The Aztek is ugly.. but it drives well and is actually a decent car underneath (reliable drivetrain, aluminum suspension components, very clever interior packaging, etc)
A friend's sister and hubby actually got one and said it was quite practical, just as advertised. They even did the whole make the back a tent and said it worked great for their mini-road trips. *shrugs*

Yep, still fugly!
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #22
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See...even you admit it was so far ahead of its time, its time hasn't come yet!
I'm gonna have to go with SCRAPPYDO on this one (well said, btw). The Aztec lacked anything that could qualify as style, at least on the exterior. Perhaps Pontiac could've survived if they ever tried a different grill design. I understand brand image, but making the GTO look simply look like a beefed up Grand Prix was a poor move.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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A friend's sister and hubby actually got one and said it was quite practical, just as advertised. They even did the whole make the back a tent and said it worked great for their mini-road trips. *shrugs*

Yep, still fugly!
Honestly, the optional slide out table from the hatch was a nice touch. Great out of the box tailgate rig but then, people will be making fun of you for having such an abomindation.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by express_wagon View Post
Honestly, the optional slide out table from the hatch was a nice touch. Great out of the box tailgate rig but then, people will be making fun of you for having such an abomindation.
It's kind of like top boxes on motorcycles.



Everyone makes fun of them until you open it up to reveal that it's full of beer, and then everyone starts trying to butter you up.

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Old 06-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #25
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It's kind of like top boxes on motorcycles.


Everyone makes fun of them until you open it up to reveal that it's full of beer

I get so much **** for the top box on my naked bike.
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