Dodge Versus Ram Case Study: Nitro

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
dodge versus ram case study nitro

The problem with branding exercises like Chrysler’s decision to split Ram from Dodge, is that they tend towards abstraction. Luckily, the back-from-the-dead Nitro is a good case study for how this split will play out. You might think that based on its aggressive styling and upright stance that it would make sense as a Ram-branded vehicle. But you’d be wrong. It will actually be positioned as a youth-market vehicle, within the Dodge brand. Hit the jump for an official concept of the Nitro’s possible repackaging.

And here it is. What this image illustrates is how lost the Dodge brand appears to have become. Because the Ram line overshadowed and helped define so many Dodge products, the re-branding of Dodge is a huge challenge. So apparently it’s turning into an mass-market Scion. As Dodge’s CEO Ralph Gilles put it, New Dodge products should “feel like niche products while offering mass-market appeal,” because “there are no more niches.” But if Gilles admits that Dodge’s problems flowed from trying to be all things to all people, removing the single element that tied it all together (Ram-ness) doesn’t seem to solve anything.

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2 of 32 comments
  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Nov 05, 2009

    I'm probably very much in the minority here but I like the Nitro better than its Jeep sibling, the Liberty, which to me looks silly and contrived with its faux fenders. The newer, more squared-off liberty is an improvement over the cutesy-poo original, but I still like the Nitro better. I think the Nitro is a cleaner design, somewhat reminiscent of a late 90's XJ Cherokee. Does the Nitro have the same underpinnings as the Liberty with a 2 speed transfer case?

  • Accs Accs on Nov 28, 2009

    Can someone please PLEASE tell me the point of the Nitro. And what YOUTH appeal they are talking about.. especially when all of the "youth" are driving around in 4yr old Burbans completely empty... What exactly does a Nitro do.. that others cant. Besides belong to a govt owned company?

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??