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Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge Neon cars, 1995-2005

1995 dodge neon coupe
2000 Dodge Neon
Dodge SRT-4
Neon SRT-4

When it first arrived on the scene, the Neon was cute, scrappy, and desirable enough to command a premium over the list price for months. It boasted a standard engine with 132 horsepower - more than any other car near its price, and at least 30 horsepower more than most in its class - and matching torque, as well as a large interior, good handling, innovative environmental features, and a long list of standard features.

1995 dodge neon coupe The original Neon was engineered to beat every car in its class in nearly every way. Europeans got a more upscale version with standard air conditioning (unusual for the time) and optional leather. First-generation (1995-1999) Dodge Neon, Plymouth Neon, and Chrysler Neon information
2000 Dodge Neon The second generation Neon brought refinement, more room, and an end to some troubles, but no substantial improvements to the powertrain (at first), leaving it more of an average sedan. Lagging sales were “addressed” with restylings; eventually a correctly tuned four-speed automatic was added. Second-generation (2000-2005) Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge Neon information
Dodge SRT-4

The Dodge Neon SRT-4 hit the heart of the Japanese pocket-rocket market, undercutting the prices of cars that Detroit “couldn't compete with,” and outperforming them without sacrificing roadability or trunk space. The SRT-4 made a good profit, too. There’s nothing like having your cake and eating it, too. Dodge Neon SRT-4 car information

neonThe Neon ceased production on September 23, 2005, after a two-generation, nearly-thirteen-year run. Its legacy included awards, trophies, and squandered opportunities.

BAPworker said: “The last Neon was an SXT. There are a couple of hundred signatures on the floor, under the carpet. The car before it was an SRT-4, white as all Neons and SRTs were the last two days of production. Look for an alternative wheel on last day production SRTs as there were not enough wheels and the vendor may not have [had] the capability to make more.”

The last Plymouth ever made was a Neon, and that’s owned by a collector and former Chrysler vice president.

Sales: first and second generation Neons

Neon coupes were sold from 1995-99; they were “replaced” by the Chrysler PT Cruiser. The following table is for U.S. sales and production only and does not include the Toluca factory, which had high production (though smaller than Belvidere), or the SRT-4, which reportedly reached a maximum of 13,000 units in its final year. We’re missing production numbers for 1995 and have no global or international sales data available. These numbers are from Chrysler and Ward’s.

Bob Sheaves wrote: “The Neon (PL) retailed at $8,995 for the cheapest model and cost less than $4,000 to build. Even with Eaton's induced cheapening, rebates, and recalls, they never lost money on the first generation.”

Ward’s U.S. Sales   Production 2002 Dodge Neon and 1995 Plymouth Neon cars
new and old dodge neons - cars
figures Dodge Plymouth
 Dodge Plymouth*
1993   2,7541,522
199493,30085,660 125,811117,001
1995 133,984 106,205   130,887 116,592
1996 139,831 105,472   133,906 105,165
1997 121,854 86,798   124,831 86,656
1998 117,96478,533  124,72978,372
1999 112,236 71,561   165,229 66,905
2000 113,381 49,951   179,039 49,623
2001 107,299 30,054   145,718 10,756
2002 126,118     156,988 12,054
2003 120,101     150,957 1,859
2004 113,476     139,004 1,844

* Starting in 1999, we only have Belvidere numbers; Neons were also made in Toluca, Mexico from 1995-99.
** Plymouth might include Chryslers for export; after 2003, only Chryslers (export Neons) are listed under “Plymouth”

Neon sales were down to 113,000 units last year. That number hasn't changed much over the past few years, but there used to be a Plymouth Neon, too, which pushed total Neon sales to around 200,000 a year. Chrysler built its last Plymouth in July 2001, and the Dodge Neon never picked up the slack.

— Jerry Flint, 2005

11/13/08: “Because of the onslaught of requests by the CAB to bring back the Neon, Jim Press drove one that someone provided him. He was very impressed. He wants to bring back a Neon sized sedan. There is no money in the kitty for such a project.”

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