By on May 18, 2016

2016 Dodge brochure

After climbing to a five-year high in 2013, sales at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Dodge brand fell 4 percent in calendar year 2014 and a further 10 percent in 2015.

So when TTAC columnist Bark M. tweeted a Dodge marketing tagline — “Fastest Growing American Performance Brand” — my confusion, doubt and skepticism were kindled.

Bark heard the tagline in a radio ad, which unfortunately isn’t Googleable. However, he swiftly supplied a link to this 2016 Dodge brochure in which the following claim is made: “The Dodge brand may have started from humble beginnings, but it is now the fastest-growing performance brand.[1]*

Seriously? Let’s look into it.

After a dozen or so emails and one phone call with FCA’s public relations department, we found some answers — none of which are wholly satisfying.

The brochure’s disclaimer is exceptionally brief. “Data is calculated using the latest available year-over-year (YOY) retail vehicle registrations.” The latest?

In our conversations with FCA, the figures quoted were from January 2015 and the year-over-year comparison with January 2014. Though the claim was sufficiently current when the brochure was first created for model year 2016 vehicles, FCA spokesperson Eileen Wunderlich says the company is “looking into editing the online version of the brochure.”

Yet even if the claim applied to a more recent period of time — the first four months of 2016, for example — questions would still linger. Since when is Dodge, a brand in which 57 percent of its sales are derived from minivans and crossovers, a performance brand? And if Dodge is a performance brand, what other automakers fall under this illustrious, enthusiast-pleasing banner?

Dodge sets up the correlation out of the gate by printing “the Dodge brand” and “performance brand” in the same sentence, thus causing the reader to assume FCA’s marketing material refers to the entire Dodge brand as a performance brand. Remember, Dodge’s lineup includes a seven-pronged line of vehicles: the Grand Caravan minivan, Durango and Journey crossovers, Challenger coupe, Viper sports car, and Dart and Charger sedans.

2016 Dodge brochure

Indeed, the brochure continues to lend credence to this assumption. “It’s the brand that boasts both style and power, and never makes you choose between the two.” Never?

“With more than 100 years under their belt, each of the seven vehicles in the 2016 Dodge lineup pays homage to its iconic bloodline with award-winning features and superior craftsmanship.” Each of the seven vehicles?

It doesn’t sound as though Dodge is referring to a specific subset, but according to Wunderlich, that was the intention. “The claim was made based on the performance trim levels of Dodge versus the performance trim levels of competing manufacturers,” Wunderlich says.

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Dodge is not short on beastly performance, what with the Viper and 707-horsepower versions of the Challenger and Charger, not to mention SRTs and R/T Scat Packs. But when we hear “performance brand,” we neither hear nor expect to hear “performance trim levels.” Consumers can’t be expected to read between the lines to such a degree, particularly when the disclaimer is so terse.

As for competing manufacturers, we’re still unsure what qualifies a “performance brand” in Dodge marketing parlance. FCA declined to share with TTAC the January 2015 year-over-year sales data compiled in order for Dodge to make this ambiguous claim. Are we talking about AMGs and Ms? Non-SUV Porsches, or only the S-badged Porsches? What about the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST? Does the Mustang GT qualify? Even at Dodge, is a Charger R/T sporty enough to be a Dodge performance vehicle, or does it need the Scat Pack or upgraded SRT engine?

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan red Detroit skyline

Truthfully, Dodge sales are growing, but 10 competing brands are growing faster. Through the first-third of 2016, brand-wide volume is up 9 percent, year-over-year, a gain of nearly 16,000 sales. The gains, however, aren’t produced by Dodge’s performance-oriented vehicles. At this point in 2015, a plant shutdown at FCA’s minivan factory in Windsor, Ontario, caused minivan sales to plummet. Thus, in early 2016, sales of the Grand Caravan more than doubled, growing by 23,871 units to 46,915 sales through the end of April. Meanwhile, Dodge Durango volume is up 30 percent, a jump of 6,002 sales to 26,019.

Dodge’s cars? The Challenger, Charger, Dart, Viper, and defunct Avenger combined for a 14-percent decline in early 2016, a loss of almost 13,000 sales.

If FCA wants to make verifiable claims about the fastest-growing auto brands in America, they certainly have a case to make — just not with Dodge. Jeep sales are up 17 percent so far this year thanks to the addition of the Renegade, continued growth from the Compass/Patriot, and improving Grand Cherokee volume.

With a 17-percent year-over-year sales improvement, Jeep is the fastest-growing auto brand in America.*

* Fastest-growing volume brand. Discontinued Scion is up 53 percent. Volvo, with only 0.4-percent of the market, is up 23 percent. Spelling out the conditions of a claim isn’t so difficult after all.

[Image Source: FCA]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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117 Comments on “Words Have Meaning: Dodge Is Not The Fastest-Growing Performance Brand In America, Whatever That Means...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    To Dodge’s credit, they didn’t specify what exactly they are fastest growing at. It could be warranty claims. It could be recalls. It could be dissatisfied Journey customers. One shouldn’t assume.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I want to see those obnoxious morons from “got a Hemi in it” pull up to a Caravan or Journey and cite the catch phrase.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    Eh, what do you expect from the company (FCA) that thinks it can say something and the words make it so.

    Remember the Chrysler 200 ad where they had a guy talking in Japanese about craftsmanship and quality? Or the fella talking in German about performance?

    You don’t make a car high quality by claiming it’s high quality, and you don’t inspect it in either. Quality starts before the first shape is made in CAD, and a quality-focused processes doesn’t spec an unproven 9 speed transmission.

    And lets not even talk about performance. The Mazda 6 / Fusion / Accord trounce the Chrysler 200.

    Why does this matter? If an organization can’t even be bothered to care about the facts of the matter, what hope do they have against competitors who are as serious as a heart attack?

    Thanks Dodge for making ‘performance vehicles’ but consider making something performance oriented from the ground up (a la the Viper) rather than slapping a big motor in it and calling it a job well done while its competitors come in at 500 fewer pounds.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Gotta work with what ya got. To date only two manufacturers seem to really stand out in the weight reduction arena. Mazda with the Miata and Chevrolet with the Camaro. By and large everybody else has put on a few pounds.

      The Miata was a concerted effort ( to its credit ) and the Camaro was more or less happy coincidence ( since the 5th gen was built on big car bones like Dodge’s Challenger ) but a win is a win.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        It’s poor management. They had a choice to invest their money into quality (initial, long term, and perceived) or to add bigger motors and brakes to overwraught cars that need an extra 50-100 hp just to keep pace.

        Camrys make more money for shareholders than than Hellcats and Scat packs.

        If anything, their old platforms would be easy to make reliable – they could spec police grade parts, fix known issues, and leverage existing know-how.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    At least they use Metallica for their commercials instead of generic commercial music.

    Though the radio commercials tend to use an instrumental of Fuel, depriving us of “GIMME FUEL GIMME FIAH GIMME DATWHICHIDESIYAA!”.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Can we next have an expose on misleading ad pricing next?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Throughout most of the ’80s, Dodge claimed to be the fastest-growing truck manufacturer. I mean, they weren’t /wrong/…

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Sure, if the PT Cruiser is defined as a truck…

      But you mentioned 80’s, and PT Cruiser was much later. Still, we get tangled up in defining various categories.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        The PT Cruiser was also a Chrysler.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Ah, you’re right! And it was originally supposed to be a Plymouth, but then, implosion.

          So, double nevermind on the PT Cruiser comment.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            Plymouth wasn’t shuttered due to finacial distress. Plymouth was shuttered because Chrysler wasn’t to compete with Mercedes-Benz and needed to take Plymouth’s place for that to happen.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            Chrysler (brand) had no hope of competing with Mercedes, even before the Daimler purchase. They had long given up that cache. Besides, Plymouth’s place was to be the cheapest brand in the stable.

            Plymouth was dropped because there was little point to it next to Dodge. The cars were basically exactly the same (and in some cases exactly the same) and Plymouth’s lower price point could easily be achieved through lower trim levels. Their “retro” reimaging hadn’t hit showrooms yet except for the Prowler, so easy to shuffle the in development PT Cruiser to another brand.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            What was the last time Plymouth was relevant and had any real place in the market – 1975?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Here’s a list of all the years where Chrysler competed even vaguely with Mercedes-Benz:

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I meant more that it’s easy to claim “fastest-growing” when you were dead last in the ’70s (even behind International Harvester in some regions).

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          Y’all have been in the w220 S-class, right? The w163? I’m not trying to revise history or go all Uncle Rico on it, but– remove your blinders and accept that MB is where it is currently because Chrysler helped them get there.

          With real engineering and talent.

          And money. Billions of Dollars.

          I do understand that Daimler got custody of all the friends after the divorce, but that really doesn’t mean Chrysler was an anchor tied around Daimler’s pretty little neck during their union.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Indeed, Diamler absolutely ravaged Chrysler in the take over and subsequent running of the company then they turned the picked over carcass to Cerberus who then proceeded to try thier damnedest to run it even farther into the ground leaving what was left for Fiat to pick up.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I fully agree with that statement, raph.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            It was just over $4B in cash at the time of the takeover that Daimler took from Chrysler development.

        • 0 avatar

          Ram tough—
          Tough to look at
          Tough to sell

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      They currently lay claim to having the highest pickup tow rating but that is only if you happen to buy a regular cab 4×2 dually with the HO Cummins and it only out tows the F450 by less than 10 lbs.

      They also lay claim to having the longest lasting trucks in Canada. That is an identical advertising campaign as what Chevy used to do in the USA. It is based on registrations not actual repairs.

      Advertising is legal as long as they can show what data they used.

      The local FCA dealer in my town got caught once again for ‘misleading” sales and advertising practices. This time around the principal “left under mutually agreeable terms” and the sales manager was fired.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        For some reason, we get a lot of Ram ads in the mail. Every claim to best this, highest that is followed by a little number corresponding to some disclaimer on the bottom.

        I will say this: Kudos to Ram for not being ashamed to advertise their refrigerator white 4×2 fleet models. Ford seems to pretend nothing exists below a Lariat, or at the very lowest, an XLT with FX4 package.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        And Ford was claiming to have the highest Class III towing. They achieved that by deleting things like glove boxes, bumpers… to get the truck light enough to qualify for Class III.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Why don’t you ever beat up on Mazda like you beat up on Chrysler? At least Chrysler offsets its enthusiast vehicles and poor sellers with class leading trucks. Mazda has an entire lineup of unsalable vehicles (and mediocre crossovers), and they neither look or perform anywhere near as good as anything Chrysler makes.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Someone needs to test drive a Miata.
      Or a 6.
      Or 3.
      Or CX-5.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I’d rather test drive a Fiat 124. Sure, it’s based on the same overall platform, but carries a stronger engine and a more performance-tuned suspension than the Miata.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Meh. Mazdas aren’t fast and I think Jinba ittai is lame.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        I test drove a 3 with the naturally aspirated 4 and auto trans, it was totally gutless and the transmission refused to respond to anything but heavy throttle. The steering wheel was too heavy and annoying to turn. Interior was nice, was black with red stitching, looked very BMW. Other than that it was fine but unremarkable. Ride was kinda stiff but not too stiff, road noise was louder than average (not as bad as everyone makes it out), it really just felt like a forgettable cheap car.

        BTSR can relate, I personally think steering feel SUCKS. Anything that is strenuous to operate and vibrates in any car is non premium and belongs in a cheap car. I loved the steering feel in a Home Depot F250 I drove, my Challenger is okay but it could still be softer.

        I have no opinion of the other 3, never drove them.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You have no opinion of the other 3 Mazdas, and yet you wrote: “Mazda has an entire lineup of unsalable vehicles (and mediocre crossovers), and they neither look or perform anywhere near as good as anything Chrysler makes.”

          That sounds like a pretty strong opinion on cars you admit you’ve never driven.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          did yo happen to find out if you had the 2.0 built and installed for MPG or the 2.5, which is plenty fast for the car????

        • 0 avatar
          G37cruzer

          If you rented it, then it most likely had the slower 2.0L engine, which is not fast by any means; its the smaller engine in a compact car, you can’t expect any better. Its still faster than half of the compact car segment, with that slow engine.

          Any automatic in a new compact car these days will hesitate to downshift. They’re all about fuel economy!

          And you say the ride was stiff, but not too stiff? That sounds like the perfect ride for one who wants a sporty car.

          And you say it had a nice interior, almost BMW like? High praise for a compact car in a lesser trim.

          As for steering feel, the mazda3 has better than average steering feel for cars with EPAS.
          The truck you compared it to had better steering feel because it did not have EPAS.

          Almost any car without EPAS will have better steering feel than all but the sportiest and most well tuned EPAS cars.

      • 0 avatar
        anti121hero

        I drove a brand new 6 (albeit a rental model from enterprise) and was extremely disappointed… Looked nice, but it was very very slow, not too fun to drive, a little harsh and noisy (and I drive 20+ year old jeeps!), didn’t get too great of mpg (a rental impala with the 3.6 got better mpgs earlier this year), seats weren’t comfortable for a long ride, the cheap tablet glued to the cash was hideous and pointless, and I just walked away front hat experience with a completely different attitude towards Mazda.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          I also felt my rented 6 was slow.
          And it was maddening in the LA freeway stop n go.
          The struggle to get up to speed and then down and repeat and repeat and repeat was irritating. It would slog at input, then suddenly once you get up to speed the traffic was stopping.
          However, I will admit I am willing to give it a try with a manual.

        • 0 avatar
          G37cruzer

          The 6 you rented almost definitely had the weaker 2.0L engine.

          They were much more abundant when the 6 was initially released, and it comes in lesser trims of the 6.

          Rental car companies rent majority of their cars in lesser trims, most often the lowest one.

          As for cheap tablet “glued to the dash” not sure what you mean. The 6’s screen is part of the center console, completely embedded in it.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Way to be so wrong. As VoGo lists there are many saleable Mazda vehicles (both in actual retail sales and in reviews). So you are factually incorrect. Also TTAC has run articles that could be construed as being negative and pointing out weaknesses such as dealer network, sales etc.

      As for mediocre crossovers, I assume you didn`t read Jack Baruth’s CX5 review. You would probably agree he is an enthusiast and is honest and he loved the CX5.

    • 0 avatar

      Because Mazda doesn’t claim to be the fastest-growing performance brand in America.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Words do have meaning, and your headline missed a key part of the sneaky: They didn’t say “performance brand in America.” They said “American performance brand.” That means they’re excluding all brands except the Detroit 2-1/2.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Except that Dodge is a brand owned by a Dutch company, headquartered in London with an Italian leadership team.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            The Toyota Tundra isn’t American,either– but I’ll be a monkey’s Uncle if they didn’t(and don’t) sell localized patriotism along with their Japanese Truck.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Did Texas secede again?

            Why is a Dutch Ram built in Mexico more American than a Japanese truck built in the US?

            No one is as shameless about being “American” as Budweiser.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            But VoGo, the “brand” is American. I.e., the name itself has American origins. I’m not agreeing with them, but as someone who’s dealt in weasel words professionally, I’m willing to bet that’s their fig leaf.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            TonyCD,
            I think you’re right. But it’s a ridiculous fig leaf. Is Chevrolet French?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            iNeon, Tundras have more US-sourced content than FCA’s Ram. And all Tundras are assembled in the US, again, unlike Ram.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            gtemnykh- I’m not picking on Toyota(although I do like to, being a Mopar guy and all) for no reason– just making a point about advertising being BS on all fronts.

            Advertising (by all companies) is nonsense and there’s no reason to pick on Dodge for being creative in finding a strength(however abstract)to exploit.
            .

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            VoGo – beat me to it. Yup. Foreign owned.

            iNeon – what gtemnykh said.

            Oh and all of Ram’s HD’s are Hecho en Mexico.

        • 0 avatar

          In the brochure text, Dodge makes no such caveat. It’s straight-up “fastest-growing performance brand”.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Mark, I notice that in the body of the story, one reference by Dodge put in “American” and one left it out. Betcha the one that left it out was a screwup.

            I once worked for a company that will remain nameless for my own protection. They had bought out a defunct manufacturing company and were pimping its brand, which was American. Their slogan, set in a traditional Ye Olde Colonial typeface, was “The oldest name in American (category of merchandise).” When they transferred partial assembly to Asia, Legal tweaked the tagline to “America’s oldest name in (category),” subtly shifting the onus of American-ness from the product to the name itself. When they then got really greedy and transferred the remaining part of the production process from the U.S. to Canada, they tweaked the tagline further to “NORTH America’s (emphasis mine) oldest name…” You can’t make up this stuff.

          • 0 avatar

            @tonycd: The “American” descriptor was used for the later radio ad, so it’s possible a similar subtle shift happened here.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        zoom zoom…whatever that is.
        I will admit I have always enjoyed my 05 3, especially once on curvy roads.
        I presume zoom zoom means not take off fast but zippy around town fun.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Well, to be fair the commenters on this site have pretty harshly gone after Mazda for rust issues, dealership network problems, and inability to draw either mainstream customers or enthusiasts who wish for more than 185hp out of the brand that still uses the tagline “Zoom-Zoom”. Which sounds even dumber than Fahrvergnügen because it seems to have been crafted by a hyper child rather than out-of-touch German marketers.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I don’t understand the appeal of mainstream Mazda, but I respect those who do. What will be more interesting is how the brand intends to survive the next few years. I have argued in USDM there are too many brands and as time marches forth some will be culled. Until recently, Mitsubishi was on my hit list but now it seems they will become a Nissan-Renault sub brand of some sort. Volvo has Geely backing, and unless something happens to Geely, will not be allowed to fail regardless of how the XC90 and the new 90 series do in the future. JLR, same deal with Tata. Most other brands are backed by more established deep pocket marques, with a question mark hanging over FCA, but then there’s Mazda. No larger parent company, no alliance, limited appeal and dealer network in USDM. Somethings gotta give.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          The real Mopar story of the day is the rumored Chinese buyout of FCA– but this is what we got.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Not seeing any piece on such a current rumor, source?

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/05/china-buy-rumor-denied-31829

            Looks like the rumor was refuted– but couldn’t that just be a way of lowering stock prices to make the intended outcome a bit cheaper?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the link. If such a thing were to happen, the irony would be both thick and palatable.

            I wonder if the “election” is having an impact on the timing of such a move?

        • 0 avatar
          G37cruzer

          28-cars-later, I agree that there are too many brand clogging the competitive USDM. Mazda sells well in other parts of the world, and is actually growing in the US. Look at Mazda and it’s products now compared to Mazda 10 years ago.

          Here’s why I think Mazda has mainstream appeal: The majority of people like the design of Mazda’s products. The mazda 3 and 6 are each one of the best looking cars in their respective segments. On top of that, they offer great value. I recently checked out mid trim levels of many compact cars (new civic, the 3, golf, new cruze, impreza, dart, new elantra). The 3 had the nicest combination of interior quality and equipment for price, and drove the nicest (most sporty).

          All of Mazda’s vehicles are sporty compared to their competition. The CX-5 has been selling well, and gets great fuel economy- another point with Mazda, all their cars get GREAT fuel economy, and mileage that is attainable, because the engines aren’t turbocharged. Check out Fuelly. Mazda has relatively new micro-ute, CX-3, for that growing segment and an upcoming CX-7 for that segment. So all their crossovers are set to do well, judged on the CX-5 success, and with more people going to crossovers, that will keep Mazda around.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      It’s fair to say we’ve talked about Mazda in the very recent past.

      April 20, 2016: Why Aren’t Americans Buying Mazdas?
      By Timothy Cain

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/arent-americans-arent-buying-mazdas-reasons-every-current-mazda/

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Because Dodge makes it easy?

  • avatar
    ajla

    These here are the sleekest, sexiest lines American engineers could come up with.
    Why just the name itself bespeaks power and wealth: Dodge.

    That about says it all.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Anyone happen to notice that the article did NOT take the brochure’s ‘footer’ notes into consideration? Honestly, everything Timothy complains about is par for the course across all brands. Whether you look at the Mustang or the Camaro–or rather Ford and Chevrolet–you see “trim packages” with widely-varying performance capabilities between them. Dodge now has a claimed seven different car, SUV and minivan models with high-performance trim packages that actually mean something compared to those models’ base versions. Can Ford and GM really say the same while leaving out their pickup trucks?

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Dodge’s claims go back to what the meaning of “is” is. Performance – I formerly terminated employees for “poor performance” in my capacity as a manager. These folks were a type, or “Performance Brand”, of employee that I did not desire to have growing in my area of responsibility. Dodge of FCA could be the “fastest growing poor performance brand as evidenced by such vehicles as the Journey and Dart in that performance encompasses build-quality and reliability as well as handling and acceleration. Ahh, semantics and nuance.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      My Aero Dart with the aluminum suspension and turbo engine would like to speak to your twist beam Corolla.

      Dart isn’t a terrible product– it’s just the unusual one was the most common at first. The 1.4t/6mt has a very mechanical feel and has a peaky engine that requires weird imported parts. The spark plugs are special, the filters are special, the wheels don’t have the k-car bolt pattern.

      Reliability is something I’ll learn about in the future, but sincerely– I could not have bought a more interesting car for $12,999 than a turbo stickshift Dart with 88,000 miles of warranty remaining.

      Now about that clutch release dampner thing– does anyone know anything about that? I want it gone.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’ll take a Toyota engineered MacPherson front and torsion beam rear suspension over a ChryCo aluminum multi-link any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. That might just be the biggest gap in durability/longevity that anyone could come up with.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        There’s a reason a Dart with 88k miles left in its warranty is worth $12,999.

        And if Darts are so good, why care about a warranty? How much warranty work do you expect to consume?

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          You are more worried about my car’s value and reliability than I am.

          My response was to address Bullnuke’s questioning Dart’s chops as a ‘performance’ car. I think Dart’s turbo engine, fancy suspension and pedigree may help it qualify– but anything’s arguable.

          I guess an Alfa is a performance car, even if it has a 4-Cylinder engine.

      • 0 avatar
        G37cruzer

        iNeon, I agree that for 13k that’s a great deal.

        It was also unfortunate that the Dart was released with the 6MT only at first.
        I’d also rather have a Dart than a corolla. In the end, a portion of ALL cars will be unreliable, and a portion bulletproof.
        The corolla may have a much higher percentage of cars that are reliable than the dart, but with the better looks, steering, suspension, turbo engine, stick shift, all for 13k, so more equipment as well, for a dart, ill take my chances with it over a corolla. The warranty will cover any powertrain issues for 5 years, and I don’t keep cars for more than 5 years, so to me, you made a good buy.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Don’t confuse Sergio Marchionne and Olivier “I’m a genius, just ask me” Francois with facts.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    LAWL “superior craftsmanship”

    That needs a *.

    *When compared to Happy Meal toy.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    What percentage of their sales are of the Grand Caravan? The GC is a dead end vehicle, being built through 2017 as a carryover, and not getting a new platform like the Town & Country (now Pacifica).

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Dodge has a right to claim performance brand cred as any manufacturer today short of maybe lambo, ferarri, etc. Not one, not two, but 3 cars that are insanely ridiculous and watch for whats coming for Durango…

    • 0 avatar

      Have you driven a Lamborghini Journey or Ferrari Durango?

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Dont pretend lambo hasnt flirted with SUVs…and I said “short” of those brands, as in, excluding them.

        • 0 avatar

          I read it the first time. I’m just shocked you’d even utter Dodge and Lamboghini in the same breath. So, Dodge is as performance-oriented as Porsche then?

          Edit: For those of you who care, I still haven’t driven a 911.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Yes. The viper holds its own against porsche. Wait for the rumored durango that is coming. It will compete against porsche SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Viper is SRT and is not part of Dodge. Try again!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Nickoo,
            There may be some Dodge models that have similar performance numbers to Porsche models. But the idea that they will be seen as a competitive alternative by actual Porsche buyers is ludicrous.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Jfc. Stop being so dsmned argumentative all the time over non sequitors. Nobody cares what some euro trash thinks aboit his por-$ha We arent talking about brand perceptions. We are talking about performance. 0 to 60, quarter mile, track times, skid pad numbers, 60 to 0, figure 8…

            Dodge has 3 cars that stand on the world stage among anyone, and rumours of an SUV to follow. *and they do it at a price point that shames their competition. Dodge is THE american performance brand rockin THE american supercars among the worlds best.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            And car reviewers routinely cite viper interior as the finest interior in an American car.

          • 0 avatar

            SRT is dead as a brand Viper is officially a Dodge product again.

          • 0 avatar

            Porsche does make a couple of CUV’s and a fat butt sedan with overkill power, and Dodge does have the viper, the comparison on paper is not as crazy as it seems in real life.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Dodge has 3 cars that stand on the world stage among anyone”

            Cough hack gasp choke

            Which 3?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            nickoo,
            You seem to use “America’s Best”. What about the rest of the world?

            America is NOT the world.

            US muscle is like buying a cheap thrill. It is consumerism at it’s best with great advertising telling YOU that FCA build comparable products to the finest performance vehicle available.

            The US does build a few nice performance vehicles, but even the Mustang has it’s issues from a Chinese cheap interior to some build issues.

            I hate to to see you full of disillusion, but there are far better performance vehicles options other than US iron in the world.

            And far better.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Which 3 stand on the world stage, Lou asks? One of them is the Dodge Journey, of course. Sold since 2011 as the Fiat Freemont, with a 6-speed Aisin manual and 2.0L turbodiesel.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Chrysler did own a major interest in Lamborghini at one time.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      A big engine does not a performance car make.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Doesn’t it?

        I think the problem here is that “performance” is broad and varied.

        “Goes really fast and gets there quickly” is undeniably a performance characteristic.

        So is “goes around corners really fast”, but is it so that every “performance car” has to be both? Not sure it’s so, myself.

        C&D’s claims on the 2016 Viper suggest it’ll beat a GT3 on their 300′ diameter skidpad, which suggests fast turning.

        So … I can’t see a universe in which a Viper isn’t as much a performance car as a Corvette or a Carrera.

        (And honestly, in America? The Hellcat is a performance car, period.)

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Sigivald,
          This is where Australian muscle cars often have had it all over US muscle cars.

          They ran Detroit iron in a vehicle that handles the power.

          Hopefully the newer generation of US Muscle/Pony cars have brought this unsavoury characteristic of US muscle to an end.

          The problem is FCA is still twenty years behind in some respects. They are living on the old US formula, just add cubes to make a vehicle better.

          This is why Euro performance vehicles do so well. They actually turn.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            BAFO. You are 4o years out of date on your perceptions of american cars. Australian cars WERE a joke and thats why they flopped harder than an abo flops around after inhaling his special fumes and having his dream time when GM tried to sell one here in the USA. Manufacturers rightfully killed them off.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Three cars that are “insanely ridiculous.” But just one of them (the Viper, obviously) can circle a racetrack in competitive fashion. The others are pretty much only good for bench racing, d!ck waving, and creating acrid clouds of tire smoke.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    In the United States, puffery is allowed in advertising if it involves:

    > “Exaggerated, blustering, and boasting statement upon which no reasonable buyer would be justified in relying”

    > A “general claim of superiority over comparable products that is so vague that it can be understood as nothing more than a mere expression of an opinion”

    It’s fun to dissect this stuff, but it doesn’t mean much. This is par for the course in advertising.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Dodge has quite the lineup:
    – Dart: dead
    – Viper: dead
    – Journey: dying
    – Caravan: dead
    – Challenger/Charger: moving to FWD?
    – Durango: forgotten

    Chrysler looks about the same. The question for Sergio is which to kill first.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Challenger/Charger: moving to FWD?”

      Smoke and mirrors. The company will no longer be his problem by the time this even comes up, watch for new ownership to continue LX.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        OK, but a series of new owners has decided to pass on investing $2B in a new platform for a market (large passenger cars) that is in severe decline. I’m not sure who would buy into the Dodge or Chrysler brands, because I don’t see value there.

        Jeep and Ram are a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree in that you don’t buy FCA for Dodge, Chrysler, or Fiat, but you also don’t turn down a profit center in the form of LX. The way I see it, LX is the new Panther for fleet.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Heh if that were true maybe Ford would have room to bring back a nice dedicated big car RWD platform.

    • 0 avatar

      Close
      Dart – dead
      Viper – maybe?
      Journey – replaced with some kind of Alpha/fiat platform with turbo 6 (hi perf crossover)
      Caravan – dead
      Challenger/ Charger – Alpha Giulia platform the 300 is moving to FWD not the Dodge versions
      Durnago – Hanging in there possible SRT / hellcat variant coming

    • 0 avatar

      On your 2nd question I think Sergio has no idea what to do with Chrysler itself and it may die.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      A while back there was a rumour that the whole Dodge brand would get killed off. That was around the time of the Viper dropping the Dodge name and was being called SRT Viper. Spinning off Ram trucks from Dodge was also part of that rumour mill.

      Other than some aging rear drive cars with V8’s that will most likely be replaced by turbo 6 bangers, what is keeping Dodge alive?

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    ““It’s the brand that boasts both style and power, and never makes you choose between the two.” Never?”

    Well, yeah.

    All of the Dodge vehicles in the seven car list that have style also have a power option.

    You don’t have to decide *between* style and power; if you get power you also have to pick style.

    (I kid, but only a tiny bit.)

  • avatar
    bachewy

    Meh, it’s just a marketing line similar to, “4 out of 5 dentists prefer …”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    FCA might have the fastest vehicles, but do they have the quickest?

    Even that 5.7 Ram I rented did okay for acceleration, but that was only in a straight line. The 5.7 was a nice engine, in the wrong vehicle.

    Once anything other than straight was required the vehicle fails dismally.

    The ride was good though, not a truck, like so many other 1/2 ton pickups.

  • avatar

    Do I detect an anti-Chrysler bias? You folks do understand the concept of marketing I am sure. The brochure seems to be aimed at making the consumer arrive at a specific perception of the Dodge “brand”. Since I was a wee lad the claim of being a “performance” brand has been there. Chrysler was luxury/upscale; Plymouth was for the average guy and Dodge was performance. To be clear: When claims are made they should be verifiable of course. I would submit that much of advertising does not expect the average consumer to examine an ads claims as closely as a teenager considering the blemishes on her face. My guess is that if this kind of scrutiny were done on other manufacturers ads similar objections could also be raised. There are some that will care and that is fine. Those folks help uncover more serious issues worthy of exposure. Personally, whether Dodge is the fastest growing performance brand or not makes no difference to me. It’s not of a comparable scale to, say, Roundup allegedly causing cancer in those that use the herbicide.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I dunno man, a Pentastar Caravan can BOOK IT on the highway, and I imagine a lighter Journey could book it further still.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The Avenger with the 3.6l Pentastar was the least expensive 14 second car on the market.

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