Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Quambi, Oct 1, 2020.
The poll should have a fourth option for dropping both.
There's nothing wrong with being dull, if enough people like it.
The off-road performance thing is why people buy Jeeps... but they're moving away from it, just like Range Rover. Question is, what is Jeep without the things that make it Jeep? It's like BMW selling slow cars that don't handle well.
I have to say, I don't understand what their problem is with Chrysler and the Pacifica. It would not be that expensive to put in three conventional rows of seats, ordinary second row doors, and a mild restyling, would it?
Exactly. The first gen Chevy Traverse was very obviously their next gen minivan but changed to a CUV style with regular rear doors. Now of course it's moved to more of a traditional SUV platform but yeah, there's no reason why they can't do one with the van platform. I mean, the original (00's) Pacifica was on the van architecture.
No, dull is fine. My point is that Chrysler and Dodge could be utilized to attract customers that Jeep won't. I actually liked the 2013 Cherokee and I think the restyle tried to strike some sort of middle ground and it didn't work at all.
Hmh... Actually BMW once did exactly that. That was a time before they've decided to become Bavarian Alfa Romeo. Quick story lesson to those who think that Alfa is copying BMW and not the other way round. Even BMW's signature Hofmeister kink is just a copy of one Italian design. But then... German car industry is full of frauds and copies, whole VW story and technical solutions.
I won't vote to ditch Chrysler or Dodge. We need more Detroit brands not fewer. We've already seen too many go away since the late 90s. In the 80s and early 90s they were adding new brands and acquiring other companies! That's what we need again. Losing brands means losing. As a country we should be buying our own cars, the ones built at UAW factories.
The thing is if you’re going to be boring, you also have to be good (as in quality/reliability), which the company even to this date has had difficulty doing.
The question makes me imagine some kind of Thunderdome style death match between the Transformer versions of a 300 Limited and a Charger SXT.
Winner take all.
Normally I’d have said save Dodge. But Dodge is even more niche today than Chrysler was 10 years ago.
That’s a tough choice.
As I said in the past. If I can no longer get the things that me me buy Jeep what is stopping me from shopping around?
They should have rebuilt the image of Chrysler using the front wheel drive versions of Jeep models and kept Jeep more rugged. Might be able to manage a small bit of crossover when it came to all wheel drive models. But they threw everything to Jeep which ultimately watered down the Jeep image just a bit and starved Chrysler.
Which is kind of odd because they created Ram in order to provide a larger difference in image for Dodge. But then didn't separate front wheel drive from Jeep.
The Traverse is still on a crossover version of a car platform, the styling is now just more tough looking.
I agree though, this should be a no brained. Honda’s Pilot and Odyssey sharing bones is another great example.
I don't know how to do that but I'm curious to see how many votes it would get.
Heck, I'm surprised at how many people voted for keeping both! I only included it just in case there was anyone who refuses to pick one at the expense of the other. Turns out, there's a lot.
I chose Dodge. The remaining 3 models can act as performance halo over a lineup of vehicles that don't all have to be RWD. They just can't be boring.
OTOH, I think it will take an enormous amount of money to bring Chrysler back from the dead at this point. And I don't think it would succeed. Too much baggage. If you played a word association game with the general public and said the word "CHRYSLER", they would probably respond with the word 'BAILOUT" more often than the word "CAR". All for a brand that can only sell in North America. Huge gamble IMO.
BTW, why would you drop both?
In about 10 years all the fastest cars will be electric and look like a used bar of soap. Dodge has a rich history of style to dig back into, so for that reason they get to stay.
This doesn't seem to be that hard to me. Invest some creative energy (and capital) into BOTH nameplates. There is nothing wrong with either brand or their heritage. FCA has neglected them. Look at the history of Kia and Hyundai. They came out of nowhere and had to fight some pretty negative perceptions about quality and desirability. Now we have a huge stable of models - SUVs, Minivans, sedans of all sizes and they are perceived as some of the best products on the market with fairly distinct brand identities. Chrysler and Dodge can re-evolve into aspirational competitive product lines again. It can be done - just get to work.
One would think, but despite claims that these product decisions are made in Auburn Hills, I believe there are some overriding principles in effect:
1) Nothing matter but short term margin. Quality is too costly in the short term. Decisions to build a sustainable, long term customer base are tossed in favor of the short term.
2) Too many people saw people thrown under they bus for decisions that came from above on the 200. Now the risk takers are either gone or gun shy.
3) I think the reception of the 2014 Cherokee put an end to distinctive styling. Since then, bland has ruled from a company famous for Dodge and Chrysler designs. Again, are the good people gone or gun shy?
There was talk a few years back about Ford dropping Lincoln, and just having Ford.
They rebuilt Lincoln and they have some wonderful offerings now (in terms of styling, options, luxury - let's disregard build quality, reliability, etc. and focus on the brand itself for this point).
Ford did with Ford and Lincoln what FCA should have been doing with Dodge and Chrysler.
Now, granted, Ford didn't have Jeep, and FCA also added Ram, but we can take Jeep, and Ram, and re-align what's what, with current and known future product. It really isn't hard.
Jeep: Wrangler, Gladiator, Cherokee Limited and up, Grand Cherokee Limited and up, Grand Wagoneer
Ram: 1500 and up
Dodge: Challenger, Charger, Durango, any future midsize truck. Yes, midsize here. Why, you ask? Well, I assume it would be unibody, but even if not, there almost surely would be performance versions of it. Dodge is the performance brand. It would be better styled as a Dodge than a Ram, and fit here better.
Chrysler: Renegade, Compass, Cherokee base model (Laredo/sport/whatever), 300, Pacifica, GC base models (Laredo/sport/whatever) re-trimmed under a Chrysler name like Voyager and Grand Voyager. YES, I said it. The market is saying we don't want minivans, we want SUVs. Chrysler released a base model minivan, Voyager, which is a Pacifica, because.... idiocy? Stupidity? Stubbornness? Whatever. They made the mistake. Now fix it. Chrysler badged and facia'd Cherokee and Grand Cherokee BASE TRIMS are now Voyager and Grand Voyager, get over it. I'm the CEO in this scenario, I'm fixing the damn company.
FCA wants Chrysler to be the every-brand. So move the base crossovers away from Jeep. This will also mean Jeep is upmarket and make it easier to justify the GW price tag. Dumping low-trim Jeeps from the Jeep brand just makes sense. But why give up those sales? Sell them as Chryslers. It's clear FCA doesn't want Chrysler to mean luxury, so don't let it mean luxury. Luxury sedans are dead anyway, so Jeep can carry the luxury on its own, with luxury SUVs and the Wrangler (it will always need to remain Jeep).
There is no reason that Dodge is too niche to be a full line manufacturer. The Dodge "performance" image has gone back for decades, when ads with a lineup of red Dodges lined up on salt flats. This notion that you can't be a performance brand as well as a mainstream manufacturer is bizarre. Nobody has ever not bought a Camaro or a Mustang because they are sold under the same brand as the Malibu or Escape. If people think that others won't buy a Dodge mainstream vehicle because Dodge is a performance brand, that's even crazier. Halo cars have always brought buyers into showrooms, buyers who buy much more mundane vehicles with four doors and smaller engines.
On the other hand, Chrysler has never been a mainstream vehicle. If you aren't going to push it to be a premium product, you might as well ditch it altogether. Introducing the all new Dodge Grand Caravan, and you're problem is solved.
Consumer data shows that “performance” speaks only to 10% of the buying public. Worse, Dodge has been culling mainstream models from its lineup: Grand Caravan and Journey are gone, with nothing on the horizon to replace them.
Ford and Chevrolet’s sales of Mustangs and Camaros are a side-show. Those brands sell pickup trucks, compact SUVs, economy vehicles, etc., none of which Dodge sells any longer. At Dodge, performance is now the main —and only— show. There’s nothing else left to sell on.
In the first nine months of 2020, US sales declined 20%; FCA sales declined 21%; Dodge sales declined 39%. You can justify that decline any way you want; but the end result is that Dodge just gave up one-half of its market share with NO plans to regain it.
That’s some brand strategy...
What's it cost to develop a platform? A billion dollars? You'd think they'd be eager to get some more mileage out of that with more vehicles on the shared architecture.