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New Dodge design direction?

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Dave Z, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Yup, it is about perceptions. Which is perhaps why it is so hard for Hyundai to shake off its value perception despite all the work and effort it has dedicated towards improving reliability.

    BTW, Toyota is always concerned with “value.” They try more than most to maintain MSRP in alignment with transaction prices, and use incentives as a tool to be used lightly, to “tweak” inventory levels with demand.

    It is easy for us to view Toyotas as overpriced. However, owners consistently rate Toyota higher than any other brand in overall value.

    Performance and styling are mid-tier drivers. Fuel economy and environmentally friendly consistently rank at the bottom. That’s part of the reason hybrids and EVs are such tough sell; consumer demand built strictly around these dimensions is just minuscule.
     
  2. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Problem of the commons ... Adam Smith was way ahead.
     
  3. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    Taste is somewhat subjective, especially in the automotive world. I personally don't seen myself in that vehicle. I vaguely recall its intro. It's got nothing on the 85 Daytona, IMHO.
     
  4. Mr. Fusion

    Mr. Fusion Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, I really coveted that car as a teen. In those days I always appreciated how European designs were simply further ahead of the US (as you pointed out, in Europe this was a Ford Sierra available since '82). Ford finally took the hint (from themselves!) when they introduced the Taurus. To me, the styling on this Merkur/Sierra still holds up surprisingly well. By that I mean that there is less of a reach from that car to a modern one, as compared to something like a VW GTI from the same year (much as I also loved that GTI!).
     
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  5. rmtodd

    rmtodd Well-Known Member

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    The XR4ti had a lot more challenges than its modern features. I was invited to ride in one on a media tour when the car and the brand were introduced, and the car was a bit ahead of its time and a had an upscale German feel (at least by US standards) while being compatible in style with the some of the new Mercury models at that time. But everything beyond those points was problematic:

    #1] The name sounded fake to Americans. It was promoted as a new, upscale brand, but no one could fail to notice the name's similarity to Mercury. People who loved Mercury brand had to think, "what's wrong with calling it Mercury?". People who hated Mercury had to think, "they're not fooling ME!". And car cognoscenti all knew it was a rebranded Ford from Europe. (People may also not have liked the jumble of letters and numbers in the car's name.)

    #2] People didn't trust the brand would last. At the introduction, I asked the PR guy if they thought the public might be concerned that brand would disappear after a few years like the German-built Mercury Capri. He told me the Capri never went away, so he ether thought I didn't know what I was talking about, he didn't know what HE was talking about. (The Capri of the time was an obvious Mustang rebadge.)

    #3] It was underpowered by U.S. standards, at lest with the automatic. Wikipedia says the original 6-cylinder engine wasn't legal for U.S. use, so the XR4ti received a 175-hp engine in manual transmission cars, and (here's a real problem for this market) a 145-hp engine in cars with automatic transmissions. It may have handled better than anything else at a Lincoln-Mercury dealer, but try to explain that to US buyers. (Et tu, Dart?)

    #4] It was too expensive. I'm betting they decided to put this at L/M dealers instead of Ford because of this. The high price was likely because it was built in Germany, and because needing expensive engine and safety mods for U.S. sale. Its' price was way out of the price range of similar Mercury cars, but it clearly didn't resemble a Lincoln.

    #5] It was in the wrong dealership. The Mercury brand at one time had some hot cars, but that time was well before the mid-80's. By then, every single Mercury-branded car was a clear rebadge of a Ford product. (It's not surprising that a few years later when Alan Jackson had a minor hit with a cover of the old song "Mercury Blues" ("crazy 'bout a Mercury, I'm gonna buy me a Mercury and drive it up and down the road"), Ford bought the rights to the song... and had him change the lyrics to "crazy 'bout a Ford Truck".) I'm envisioning the buyers of that era being a weird combination of either older people (similar to Buick buyers) who were possibly cross-shopping Lincolns, and people looking for cheap cars. If they were looking for performance buyers they would have been better off at Ford dealers... if they could have gotten the customers around the price.
     
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  6. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Well-Known Member

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    If Merkur were around nowadays, I'm sure the Blue Oval people would be stressing (if not bragging) about the German engineering and attention to detail.

    I think Merkur would have a better chance now...but...you can't cry over spilled gasoline.;)
     
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  7. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    After the repair bills we’ve had so far with this darn Audi ($2700 and counting), I’d say German engineering can go shove it.
     
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  8. turbonetic

    turbonetic Active Member

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    German luxury cars are engineered to barely last the lease period and to be re-sold as a used car by the dealer. After that the repairs will cost as much as a new one when added to the payment you're making. I can't wait to see how they pull that off with their electric cars!
     
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  9. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If it were my car, I wound dump it - paid for or not.
     
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  10. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    In theory, electric cars should be cheaper because of fewer parts. Because it’s an Audi, with Audi parts...all bets are off.

    My SIL bought a service plan when she purchased the vehicle. It covers powertrain issues only. The check engine light is on, so I’ll have them diagnose it. If it’s a covered issue, then I’ll have it fixed. If not, then I’ll let it ride until it’s paid off then we’ll get rid of it. We took this POS on as a favor to my SIL...long story...but I’m very much looking forward to getting rid of it. Never getting a used car again. I’ve never had to pay for repairs out of pocket while still making payments on the vehicle.
     
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  11. 1999 White C5 Coupe

    Level 2 Supporter

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    I recall when the Merkur brand was introduced. I always felt it would not be successful, as most of the print advertising had instructions on how to pronounce the name. I felt the advertising was snooty, and if people could not pronounce the name without instructions, it would not succeed.

    Later, the Cadillac Catera reminded me of the Merkur. The Catera had advertising with silly cartoons and their “zig and zag” bragging. That failed too.
     
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  12. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    There, that's better.

    Perhaps electrification will redeem "German engineering." They have more experience on the mass/public transportation side of the house.
     
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  13. Ruptured Duck

    Ruptured Duck Active Member

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    The price jumped just as it was coming to the market. the exchange rate had tanked and not in Ford's favor. I agree the price new was way, way too high. Those that purchased new got hosed when they tried to trade in or sell. I remember buying my 86 in 89 for $3,600 with 36,000 miles on the clock. One hell of a deal used.
     
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  14. 66coronet

    66coronet Well-Known Member

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    I liked watching them race. [​IMG]
     
  15. 66coronet

    66coronet Well-Known Member

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  16. 66coronet

    66coronet Well-Known Member

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    Ram 1500 I wonder what if it was more aerodynamic and smaller. They install special shutters to make it more Aerodynamic but if they just reduced the size, wouldn't that also achieve a similar goal?
    For a 1948-1956 dodge pickup there is a chevy S10 frame swap.
    Dodge sidewinder had a V-10. So a 5.7L would fit just fine if the Ram 1500 were to get a sidewinder nose or even a NASCAR truck nose of 1996-2011. Unless one is buying a 4x4 which is expected to be tall, a 4x2 pickup just doesn't need to be as tall as they make them since they went to the designation 1500. The D100 D200 of previous generation just isn't so tall. [​IMG]
     
    #116 66coronet, Apr 2, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  17. 66coronet

    66coronet Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Wouldn't a smaller grill work just as good for 5.7L & 3.6L?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. turbonetic

    turbonetic Active Member

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    I've seen some future challenger design sketches, I just hope they don't make the charger a 4dr challenger, they do look a little similar and that's the gist of what I am seeing....
     
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  19. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    The Caddy that zigs.
    Problem was, they were trying to drag the brand perceptions too far, too quickly. Had they assigned Catera to Buick, and kept Cadillac big-comfy-luxury, maybe that would have worked. Buick had some perception as a muscle car brand, Cadillac ... I doubt most people think of them as a BMW challenger even now, and the Escalade certainly confuses the issue.
     
  20. tabutler

    tabutler Active Member

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    Yes, You get nowhere being a follower. Cadillac should have stayed as the American premier luxury brand rather than giving it up to Lexus. Lincoln is starting to build off its history with some great styling. That is why I believe that is why Lincoln is having success. They are not following anyone else. What did Lee say "Lead, follow or get out of the way."
     

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