Good Question, Dodge

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Millennials find themselves at a societal crossroads. Wage growth isn’t ideal, living (and certainly education) costs are rising faster than their paychecks, and technological advancements are rendering swaths of middle-class jobs obsolete.

Which is why, in this author’s opinion, it’s time for Aries.

Yes, it’s time to sign off Twitter and get into a sensible compact sedan, one that will serve this generational cohort well for several years to come. Interest rates aren’t even in the same ballpark as what car buyers suffered through in the ’80s, gasoline prices are still relatively low, and dreams of canyon-carving all day in a supercar paid for by the confiscated wealth of the CEO down the block should have been dislodged from their brains somewhere around the second year of college, not when they’re entering their 30s.

It’s time to face reality. It’s time for Dodge to step up and say, “We’ve heard your cries and ignored most of them. Take this instead and live within your means.”

Is yours truly dipping into the sauce a little too early in the day? Not today, I’m not. I’m merely responding to a tweet by Dodge from earlier this morning.

No, we’re not inclined to take this tweet from an anxiety-ridden social media account operator all that seriously. Is Dodge really crowdsourcing ideas for its future product lineup online? The brand wishes it could. No, Dodge will get whatever common-platform crossover Fiat Chrysler decides it can have, plus the Charger and Challenger, both available in a ridiculous array of variants designed to keep this biblically old platform rolling out of Brampton.

Resurrected nameplates have been tried before, with little success. Dart, anyone? Aspen? Magnum? Well, we’ll give them that last one. If Dodge did bring back the Aries, the same people screaming for moar affordable cars would avoid it like the plague, demanding in its place a taut, European-style RWD sports sedan with cockles-warming performance characteristics, sky-high fuel economy, and a government-subsidized four-figure sticker price. We can all dream.

Better to go the specialty edition route, like Dodge did with the limited-edition Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, itself a variant of the 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody. But what’s left to dredge up from the Charger/Challenger’s storied past?

This exercise has gone on too long. Dodge’s question doesn’t jibe with the brand’s reality as a afterthought division sitting in the shadows of FCA’s real money makers — Ram and Jeep. It can be thankful for one thing, however.

It’s not Chrysler.

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC, Steph Willems/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Thomas Kreutzer Thomas Kreutzer on Oct 02, 2019

    The Aires was about austerity. These days, urban people don't need cars, apparently, and country folk want trucks. What Dodge needs is a new light truck ala the Rampage. Cheap, cheerful and Front wheel drive.

  • Millenials will drag any long dead terrible trend they think was cool and hip back from the 80s and co-opt it like its some sort of new thing they just discovered so, the original tooling is around somewhere why not just bring back the original Aries, and in true Lido style call it the Aries Millennial. Heck while theyre at it dig up Lido and throw his corpse in the TV ads. BASED.

  • EBFlex No they shouldn’t. It would be signing their death warrant. The UAW is steadfast in moving as much production out of this country as possible
  • Groza George The South is one of the few places in the U.S. where we still build cars. Unionizing Southern factories will speed up the move to Mexico.
  • FreedMike I'd say that question is up to the southern auto workers. If I were in their shoes, I probably wouldn't if the wages/benefits were at at some kind of parity with unionized shops. But let's be clear here: the only thing keeping those wages/benefits at par IS the threat of unionization.
  • 1995 SC So if they vote it down, the UAW gets to keep trying. Is there a means for a UAW factory to decide they no longer wish to be represented and vote the union out?
  • Lorenzo The Longshoreman/philosopher Eri Hoffer postulated "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and ends up as a racket." That pretty much describes the progression of the United Auto Workers since World War II, so if THEY are the union, the answer is 'no'.