Nissan Might Build Dodge's Hornet. And?

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
nissan might build dodges hornet and

Rumors that Nissan will build Dodge's Hornet compact car are spreading like an STD on spring break. Not only are many of the car blogs– Autoblog, Motor Authority— covering the story, the subscription-only Automotive News is bringing the noise as well. We already knew Nissan would be building compact cars for Dodge in Mexico and possibly other overseas markets, and that Dodge would build the next generation full-size pickup for Nissan. AND we knew Dodge was looking to outsource production of its Hornet compact car to anyone, even the Chinese. So this isn't exactly groundbreaking. But there's other reason to yawn: the people that really care if Dodge has a compact car are Dodge dealers. Nissan moves about 10k Versas per month (handily outselling the much-ballyhooed Honda Fit for example). But it's not what anyone would call a class leader as a vehicle. That means Dodge will be selling a fairly high MPG car, with an extraordinarily ugly shape (if the Hornet concept is the basis) without Nissan's reputation for top-tier and reliable econoboxes. It wouldn't even have the novelty of being the first fully Chinese-made car to sell in the US. The upshot: with a Dodge standard rebate, the Hornet might just be dirty cheap. And I mean dirty.

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4 of 34 comments
  • Cheezeweggie Cheezeweggie on Jun 17, 2008

    I wont step foot in another Chrysler dealership. They make cool looking vehicles, but they are built like crap. If you want Nissan build quality, buy a Nissan.

  • Nick Nick on Jun 18, 2008

    I like it. It reminds me of the old Renault 5 turbo. And a bit like a toned down Caliber. Hopefully, if they are still around, this will get done.

  • Gfen Gfen on Jun 18, 2008

    Full disclosure: I own an Element and enjoy its boxy design and inconvienent doors. That said..Assuming there's rear leg room for two child seats behind me, I know what replaces teh Element in a few years. Love it.

  • Student.Driver Student.Driver on Jun 18, 2008

    I like the Hornet, but don't like the other crap by them. I have an 08 Fit, and got it fairly easy and with a chunk off the price. Now, you have a hard time even test driving them. A friend of mine found 15 of them at a dealership in Tucson, but couldn't test drive any of them because they were spoken for. Of course, I have to wonder if he were to buy one right then if they'd do it and backfill the sold vehicle. Strangely, a Fit that was purchased a week after my 08 is now back on a car lot for $1800 more than new. Unless they get a complete moron, I doubt they'll get it. But it does illustrate that there's more demand than supply. The same dealership has a dozen or so Versas on hand at any given moment.