Dodge: Refresh and Market Like Hell

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Dodge brand boss Ralph Gilles has made his presentation on the future of the Ram-head brand. First up: it’s not the Ram-head brand anymore. Beginning next year, Dodge will be represented by the word “Dodge” in black with red accents. According to Gilles, the de-Ramification of Dodge was due to the fact that trucks were dominating brand perceptions. “Mojo” seems to be Dodge’s new buzzword du jour, along with the tagline cool × fun=Dodge. In addition, Dodge will be getting away from the “base, mid, high” trim level ladder to a “lifestyle-based” trim level system. In the future, Dodges will be available in the following trims: “sweet and simple,” “fun and practical,” “uptown luxury,” “thrill seeker,” and “cool extroverted.”

These trim levels will debut with the revamped Caliber interior, and a few slides indicate how this will be executed (comparison shots coming in a separate post). The Avenger and Journey will be the next models to be refreshed in the new marketing-mad mold, with an “even more dramatic” revamp of the Caravan to follow. The substance of these revamps amounts to new interiors, refreshed exteriors and “improved NVH, comfort, convenience and performance.” Only the Caravan will receive new engines.

Further down the road, there’s a new Charger and a seven-passenger CUV formerly known as the Durango. By 2012, new Fiat-based products (C, D segment sedans, B segment hatch), but in the meantime, Dodge will have to rely on new interiors, refreshed exteriors and a lot of marketing. That’s not much to go on for the next several years.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • ZekeToronto ZekeToronto on Nov 04, 2009

    50merc wrote: Oh, say, what was the old plan? I assume it called for shoddy, noisy, uneconomical and unreliable cars with crappy interiors. If it was, they executed perfectly!

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Nov 05, 2009
    Yes, I think the boys at F-Chry already understand you don’t like the brand. That’s part of the reason they want to reposition it. Yes, you may well not be part of a certain demographic that they are interested in, but one of your dollars is worth roughly, one of their dollars. True dat. My Gen-Y son's dollar is worth just as much as mine. Of course, I have rather more of them than he does. He just got his first real job and is now positioned to spend half his adult life paying off student loans. OTOH, my wife and I are empty nesters, with the mortgage on the nest paid off. But OK, make commercials that try to be hip like the "Cube" commercials. Market to people who don't have any money. What do I care? In a couple years I can get my AARP card, and then I'm eligible to buy a Buick. When it comes to considering a Dodge, I'd really rather have a Buick.
  • ToolGuy "Nothing is greater than the original. Same goes for original Ford Parts. They’re the parts we built to build your Ford. Anything else is imitation."
  • Slavuta I don't know how they calc this. My newest cars are 2017 and 2019, 40 and 45K. Both needed tires at 30K+, OEM tires are now don't last too long. This is $1000 in average (may be less). Brakes DYI, filters, oil, wipers. I would say, under $1500 under 45K miles. But with the new tires that will last 60K, new brakes, this sum could be less in the next 40K miles.
  • BeauCharles I had a 2010 Sportback GTS for 10 years. Most reliable car I ever own. Never once needed to use that super long warranty - nothing ever went wrong. Regular maintenance and tires was all I did. It's styling was great too. Even after all those years it looked better than many current models. Biggest gripe I had was the interior. Cheap (but durable) materials and no sound insulation to speak of. If Mitsubishi had addressed those items I'm sure it would have sold better.
  • Marty S I learned to drive on a Crosley. Also, I had a brand new 75 Buick Riviera and the doors were huge. Bent the inside edge of the hood when opening it while the passenger door was open. Pretty poor assembly quality.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Alan, I was an Apache pilot and after my second back surgery I was medically boarded off of flying status due to vibrations, climbing on and off aircraft, so I was given the choice of getting out or re-branching so I switched to Military Intel. Yes your right if you can’t perform your out doesn’t matter if your at 17 years. Dad always said your just a number, he was a retired command master chief 25 years.