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The loss of 200 and Dart....

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by CDJSalesPro, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Indeed. Dodge’s issue retaining customers are multiple. As you mention, driving a gas guzzler is not for everyone. Then there is also the problem of Dodge not offering a Compact Car, a Midsize Car, a Subcompact Car, a Subcompact CUV, a Fullsize SUV, a pickup, etc. So, if a Dodge owner who needs one of those has to go elsewhere.

    From the quality rankings, to the customer treatment, to the gaping holes in the lineup of its brands, customer retention is clearly not a preoccupation of management.
     
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  2. Chase300

    Chase300 Well-Known Member

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    You know what aldo90731?
    You are starting to make sense...but I still don't like Subaru vehicles.
     
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  3. serpens

    serpens Well-Known Member

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    I’d say this is one step too far. Good quality vehicles can come from a China. The China made Volvo’s, for example, have been just fine.
     
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  4. NWbyNW

    NWbyNW Active Member

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    I was a bit general. For sure, the Dart had room for improvement, mainly the price and would have been awesome to see an power increase. But you were right on one thing for sure, nothing matched or came close to the 200S V6 with the AWD. It handled and drove like a sports sedan. Even the new Ford Fusion Sport with more horsepower cannot match the 200S with the V6 in it. Talking from lots of experience. Promise. The more base 200 models with the smaller 4 cylinder were much more forgettable but still am massive upgrade and offered good options.

    But for very small sums more, you could easily have a greatly equipped 200 with the V6. That made all the difference.
     
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  5. CivoLee

    CivoLee Well-Known Member

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    Subaru's advertising has become so sickeningly sweet ("Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru.") it makes me want to vomit. I hope if Dodge starts talking about quality/durability in their advertising, they find a way to do so in a way that suits them (maybe a slogan like "Built to run...forever." or something) without trying to shoehorn sentimentalism into their image.

    Remember Chrysler's slogan just before the Daimler merger? "Engineered to be great cars." While this doesn't come out and explicitly say much about quality, it does give one the sense that the company creates a well-made product. But it wouldn't fit the direction the Portal concept shows FCA is pointing the brand in. It's things like this that make me hope some rich American investor will buy CDJR from Fiat...don't get me wrong, I have no problems with Europeans/European automakers in general but it seems like both of Chrysler's foreign owners couldn't/can't stand the idea of the American side of things being anything more than basic and brutish, while the European side of things is where all the prestige and innovation comes from. Fiat has been generally more magnanimous than Daimler, but even they tried to push the 500 as a "premium boutique" car before it became apparent that Americans/Canadians weren't having it and put cash on the hood to try and move units. Jeep gets a pass because they've proven themselves to be a desirable product and they know any attempt to downgrade them would be met with a backlash.

    The OP and the experiences of other posters who are in car sales shows much as FCA would love to shift compact/midsize car customers into similarly sized Jeeps or fullsize cars with higher margins, it won't work for all of them. I can tell you it wouldn't work for me. I'm sure the Renegade, Compass, and Cherokee are great vehicles for what they are, but I don't like the disconnected feel of tall vehicles. I like cars that are planted and have road feel. And I have little interest in a fullsize sedan. I like the Charger/Challenger's image, but I feel like the former would be difficult to park or maneuver in tighter spaces. I might consider the latter because it's slightly smaller, but it'd be nice to have 4 doors as I'm generally the wheelman for my small circle of friends. Also, it's easier to load music gear into a sedan than a coupe.

    And part of the problem stems back to what I said above. FCA said Alfa Romeo needed Dodge volumes to survive. But they also said the Alfa version of any car had to be released first for prestige reasons. And they only just recently greenlit a Dodge cousin to the Giulia. They should've had the Dodge midsize started once the prototypes for the Giulia were done so the car could be ready for 2019/2020 instead of 2022/2023. As I've said before, we don't know what will happen between now and then. Without getting too political, recent developments within the Middle East could lead to conflicts in the region that cause the price of oil to spike. We could be in an economic recession...or worse.

    I grant you, FCA having a larger variety of cars to sell beyond crossovers/SUVs, trucks, and large cars won't stop any major cataclysm or black swan events from happening, but it's better to have a fuller lineup in the long run.
     
  6. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    While it may not work for you, Subaru’s message is working. Subaru’s outnumber Jeeps in the parking lot where I work in Pittsburgh. They were also very common among my neighbors in the Georgia mountains though I saw from Facebook posts those Subaru’s were not up to the snowfall there last week. To be fair, the stock tires probably were a lot of this issue - which would also hamper many stock Jeeps.
     
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  7. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I believe that is what I said.
     
  8. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    It was for defective refrigerators. And that only happens when there is a high profile problem discovered. Tip of the iceberg.
     
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  9. Chase300

    Chase300 Well-Known Member

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  10. Ernesto

    Ernesto Active Member

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    I appreciate aldo, too. Always good reading. I don't like Sabarus either.
     
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  11. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Wholeheartedly agree.

    Indeed. I don’t think Subaru ads are perfect either for that same reason: a bit too syrupy for my liking. But obviously they connect with sufficient numbers to effectively grow sales without using discounts.

    In my mind, the success of Subaru in the US is twofold:
    1. The Subaru Love campaign appeals to the most basic, most widely desirable human need: love. And because of it, it casts the widest possible net on consumers. But, to your point, love is a tough topic to communicate without sounding syrupy. Nevertheless, it took guts from Subaru to go down that path and, overall, it’s been able to pull it off, judging by the growth it’s generated by attracting people to the brand. The Love campaign is not perfect. For instance, I don’t really understand this fixation with dogs. It detracts from the consumer and cheapens the overall effort. But the beauty of a growing business is that it affords them the slack to make errors other automakers don’t have. Subaru ads effectively connect with consumers’ most intimate needs for safety and convenience (durability and value are matters of convenience) that we have seen in the automotive category in a generation. Since the campaign started in 2008, it has expanded the definition of Subaru brand into those more intimate consumer areas in a way Jeep brand hasn’t. And by doing so, Subaru is now better armed to withstand an economic downturn than Jeep.
    2. Subaru was to some extent very lucky to find itself in this junction between cars and trucks we now call CUVs, when the category exploded. Subaru has been purposely blurring the distinctions between cars and trucks since the original Outback and the Crocodile Dundee ads from the early 1990s. Back then, it was the only “not a car, not a SUV” in the market —notwistanding AMC Eagles from a decade before. Lucky for Subaru, when consumers adopted CUVs, Subaru was already well established there.
    Subaru still has many issues it will need to solve if it is to keep growing well into the next 10 years: ungainly styling, questionable fit-and-finish, dated transmissions, inefficient engines, holes in its lineup, etc. But the foreseeable future in N.A. smells of roses.

    FCA would be wise to deconstruct and adopt the pieces that worked for Subaru, improve on them and apply them. I agree, Dodge can find a way to connect with customers that is more genuinely American and less origami. FCA already has better designs, bigger shelf of bits and pieces, better performance and efficiency. It just needs to learn how to connect with a greater number of people than it p*ssess off, so that it can grow without incentivizing.
     
    #571 aldo90731, Dec 11, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  12. codypet

    codypet Well-Known Member

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    We got my wife an Outback last year when she decided though she liked the Wrangler, the Outback suited her better. She has since become a fan of Subaru like I am of Mopar. When the Pacifica came out, I told her once we have kids that I think we'll get a Pacifica, but she was adamant the Ascent would be her next car. Once she found out the 4-cylinder Turbo was the motor for the Ascent, and not the 3.6 v6 that's in the Outback, she changed her mind and is now pining over the Durango.
     
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  13. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Agree. Ditching V6s is a risky move. Same goes with the 2018 Accord.

    Years ago Honda resisted offering a V6 Accord. Honda’s position was that Accord didn’t need a V6. Many shoppers found that patronizing and were happy to take their business to Camry. After all, a V6 was not about need, but about want.

    Honda and Subaru are now going back to that by not offering a V6 in upcoming Accord and Ascent. Yes, the new 4-cyl turbos crank more power than those old V6. But that misses the point that a V6 is about want, not about need. Just like getting a Chrysler 300 V8 is about want, not about need.

    Meanwhile, Toyota is delighted to keep offering the 3.5 V6 in upcoming Camry and, I suspect, happy to pick up Honda owners who still want six cylinders.

    I am glad JL will offer the new 4-cyl turbo alongside the Pentastar V6.
     
    #573 aldo90731, Dec 11, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  14. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Subaru is nearly as dependent on the US market as Jeep is. Global Subaru production was just under 1 million cars in 2016, of which 630,000 were sold in the USA (63%). Jeep was 1.4 million total, of which USA took 930,000 (65%), but Jeep's balance is moving towards a more global distribution, while Subaru's is shifting towards the USA.
     
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  15. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    From driving one, I can't see what the product appeal of the Camry is. I guess it's proof that many buyers aren't buying a product so much as the support that comes with it. Camry is coarse, noisy and unresponsive to both throttle and steering inputs, but I suppose Toyota has convinced buyers that it will give them no problems. Put a Chrysler badge on the front, and the buying public would not accept it as readily.

    Subaru is nearly as dependent on the US market as Jeep is. Global Subaru production was just under 1 million cars in 2016, of which 630,000 were sold in the USA (63%). Jeep was 1.4 million total, of which USA took 930,000 (65%), but Jeep's balance is moving towards a more global distribution, while Subaru's is shifting towards the USA.
     
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  16. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    We bought a base Forester in 2009 and found it a comfortable, reliable, sporty enough for curvy back roads and even a decent soft roader (awesome in the snow and capable enough on woods roads). My biggest gripe was the ancient 4 speed auto. It wasn't bad, I just felt they should have a 5 or 6 speed for more efficiency. We sold it privately (rust free with 185,000 miles) when we got the Durango, but if my kids were driving age, I would of kept it for them (just like in the commercials;)). I don't really know if I would give my kids a 185,000 mile CUV from FCA.
     
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  17. mopar22

    mopar22 Well-Known Member

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    That was the last gen of the good foresters. My grandma has a new one and it's absolute poopies compared to her previous two, it has less then 35k miles and has squeak, rattles, and engine/cvt with issues. I would rather have my 03 neon with a missfire (bent valve)
     
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  18. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    By going to CVT and a lack of a (IMO) good V6, Subaru wasn't on my radar at all for a new vehicle. My wife was really interested in an Outback but wished it was a 7 passenger. One test drive in the Durango and it was Suba-who? lol:)
     
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  19. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I would argue the US was Subaru's test bed. Once they see success here, they won't be able to help themselves by try to replicate it in other markets.
     
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  20. Chase300

    Chase300 Well-Known Member

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    True. Brother-in-law just bought a '17 Accord V6 over the '18 specifically because the '18 had a turbo 4. This to replace his '03 Accord V6. To him and his wife going to a turbo 4 was a downgrade and couldn't believe Honda dropped the V6.
     
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