Dodge Versus Ram Case Study: Nitro

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • 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?

  • RobbyG This sort of reminds me of a "better" version of the first BMW I3's that came out with a whopping 60ish miles of range in in a super compact body made of plastic outside and straight through into the interior. And BMW wanted $40k+ then.$34k for this is still double the price of where it should realistically be.
  • Lorenzo Are there any naturally aspirated engines available?
  • Jeff There was a time that all the major auto makers advertised there full size V-8 engine cars to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. Ford had ads up thru the early 80s showing the Ford LTD and the Mercury Grand Marquis being quieter than a Rolls Royce with a smoother ride. An ad for a the Grand Marquis showed how quiet and smooth riding it was demonstrating that even a rabbi could do a circumcision on a baby boy in the back of a Grand Marquis as it was being driven. Another Mercury commercial with a diamond cutter splitting an expensive diamond while the car was being driven. Most cars in the 60s, 70s, and much of the 80s were marketed for their quiet interiors and smooth rides. Now we have to add noise to a vehicle to give the illusion of powerful and fast. If I ever were to own an EV I would want it quiet. Saturday Night Live even had a parody on the Mercury rabbi commercial. Bris inside a Royal Deluxe II from Saturday Night Live › ... 1:25Bris performed inside a Royal Deluxe II in a Saturday Night Live skit.Vimeo · Adam Kegel · Jan 18, 2019
  • Lorenzo Six percent here, ten percent there, and pretty soon you've got a dead brand.
  • ToolGuy Tungsten trim? I am holding out for the Depleted Uranium trim.