By on January 18, 2010

Is that a Ram head on the new Caliber interior? Confusing...

Does it seem like we were just discussing Chrysler’s brand confusion? Somehow the situation has gotten worse. Just as Chrysler dealers are starting to get their new Ram brand signage up, Ram CEO Fred Diaz Jr had to go and confuse everyone all over again about just what Ram means.

They’re still going to be saying they drive a Dodge Ram. We’re just going to be marketing it as a Ram without ‘Dodge’ in front. Once you explain to the consumer what you’re doing and why, they get it

Or not. Whatever. Ram trucks will continue to have Dodge VINs and will carry references to Dodge “somewhere” Diaz tells Automotive News [sub]. But don’t worry. According to Diaz, the Chrysler Group is “devising a plan that will give compelling missions for each brand.” You know, just in case things are still a little confusing.

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16 Comments on “Ram Is Dodge After All. Except When It Isn’t....”

  • avatar

    So wait: They made a whole new brand but the products are marketed as the old brands?

  • avatar

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  • avatar

    At least the Caliber looks like it has a livable interior. Has anyone seen it in the flesh? How is the fit and finish, the appearene and feel of the materials?

    • 0 avatar

      I checked it out at the press previews in Detroit last week.  From a distance it is somewhat more attractive but it still uses rather cheap plastics.  Overall, only  a slight improvement.

    • 0 avatar

      2 yearas ago I had my Mazda 3 in for an oil change. while waiting I test drove a Caliber to kill some time. that model at 170 hp was more expensvie than my Mazda, drove like it had 100 hp but the CVT kept it at 4000+ rpm all the time. the plastic looked like someone stole it from a 1995 Hyundai. Oh, and it has less space than Mazda 3. why did they go bankrupt again?

    • 0 avatar

      You could outsource the interior to Bentley and in the end you’d still only have a gorgeous interior in a piece of garbage car.

    • 0 avatar

      I sat in it and I must say that it was nice. It is a huge improvement over the previous one.

  • avatar

    I sat in a Ram 1500 at the auto show and they still have a huge “DODGE” written in the middle of the dashboard. So yeah, about that brand confusion…

  • avatar

    I think what this is referring to is that there are a lot of rednecks out there that are going to be calling their trucks Dodges well into the future. I imagine there is a significant amount of people that don’t even realize what Chrysler has done.

    Perhaps there is some fear of offending that said redneck if he comes in looking for a Dodge pickup. The brand the past three generations of his family bought.  The dealer saying, “Whoa! Hang on there buck-o, these are not Dodge’s anymore!” could lead to consumer loyalty issues.

  • avatar
    Garrick Jannene

    Ed, the reason there is still a Ram Head on the Caliber wheel is because if any sort of modification is made to the steering wheel, the car has to be re-certified in crash testing, and if you’ll notice, that’s the exact same steering wheel that has always been in the Caliber.
    With Chrysler in their current state, I don’t knock them for the cost-cutting on this one.  The Caliber isn’t going to be around much longer anyway.

  • avatar

    Nothing confusing about this. It’s the first step toward dissolving Chrysler, and ought to be viewed as groundwork for Fiat et al’s exit strategy. Removing the "Dodge" allows the Ram brand to be more easily transferred to another automaker. With the Dodge label gone, it can become the (for example) Suzuki Ram – or any other name one might put in front of it. Ram then joins Jeep as a portable, stand-alone marketing concept.

    When Diaz says " They’re still going to be saying they drive a Dodge Ram", he is dissembling about his intended disassembly.

  • avatar

    By using the Ram brand they can sell it to Nissan and Nissan will have a Ram pickup….

  • avatar

    I suspect Mr Diaz will be pursuing other interests very soon.

  • avatar

    Ram trucks will continue to have Dodge VINs and will carry references to Dodge “somewhere”
    Then they’re still Dodges marketed as something else.
    They would have to get new VIN WMIs and register the VDS at SAE or DOT (don’t know exactly who’s responsible for that over there). Also registering brand etc…, which means costs and expenses I’m sure they can’t take at this moment.

  • avatar

    I see the confusion becoming a bigger headache in the future:
    1) When registering a vehicle at the DMV (more of a concern for secondhand purchasers) is the Make/Model to be filled out as Dodge/Ram 1500 or as RAM/1500?  Is either correct, and if so could it cause issues with tax valuation or even law enforcement problems?
    2) When buying parts online, will the Ram be under Dodge, Dodge Trucks (as it often has been), or just Ram?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

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