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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the article:

Back in 2019, Dodge noted that the Challenger had the youngest muscle car buyers, and it appears youthful customers have since sought other Dodge models. A new report from Muscle Cars and Trucks quotes Dodge as saying it has “the youngest demographic in the industry,” which is fueling strong sales across the brand’s lineup. Over 60 percent of its customers are Gen-X and Millennials, says Head of Dodge Brand Sales Operations Matt McAlear.


Full article here:

Dodge Says It Has The Youngest Buyers In The Business (motor1.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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As a Gen X I also bought a few new Dodge's over the years!!!

Dodge needs new models to keep its buyers! They need more cars,more suv's etc...But the Big Hemi's and V8's are the reason Dodge is hot! If they went electric then bye-bye!

Challenger should always look like a Challenger,no drastic remodel!! Charger can be restyled..

They need a range of suv's to keep young buyers and future families going! Small,midsize suv's that have performance and look the part..Durango it a perfect family hauler but pricey for most families starting out..

I have Millennial friends and family members who also bought new Dodge's..and some who want them but couldnt afford them and opted for other brands or used Dodge vehicles..and some went to Jeep or Chrysler again same company so a win!
 

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Dodge is hot! If they went electric then bye-bye!

Dodge wouldn't suffer with younger buyers if they went electric, especially if they retained the performance. Sure, some people might want a nice Hemi V8, but others just want the performance at the price that is pretty hard to beat (at least new) regardless of if it's a turbo 4 or V8 or Hybrid or BEV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dodge is not retaining those younger buyers because they have nowhere to go when their life changes and their transportation needs change.

So, they are churning young buyers and not building brand loyalty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh simmer down Erik ....
I am not stirred up at all. It is further PROOF of brand mismanagement under Marchionne.

If Dodge had retained pickups, minivans and been the CUV brand without Jeep utility and capability, then it could have taken those young buyers and retained them within the brand as they grew up and had more disposable income.

Instead, they get young buyers who get a family and go elsewhere for the minivan, CUV and even pickup.
 

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The only benefit of attracting younger buyers is the premise that you'll retain them for their future purchases.

Dodge doesn't have a lineup that's going to stay with them as they marry, have children, etc. They might come back in retirement years for another "fast" car to relive their youth.
Yes, there might be something in the Chrysler, Jeep, Ram lineup to capture they buyer as their needs change - but it is far riskier (as in the customer is more likely to defect) to convert the buyer to another niche brand even within the same corporate umbrella than to have a brand with a full lineup. Brand loyalty is the concept, not corporate loyalty. GM tried the "corporate loyalty" thing, expecting customers to move from Chevrolet/Pontiac to Oldmosbile/Buick, then to Cadillac as they aged and gained wealth. We all see where that experiment ended - two of the brands dead and a third only existing because it's popular in China.
 

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Dodge is not retaining those younger buyers because they have nowhere to go when their life changes and their transportation needs change.

So, they are churning young buyers and not building brand loyalty.
Very true. I was an exception that proved the rule. Most younger buyers went with a more practical choice for a first new car, such as Caliber or Dart, then could move up to a Charger a few years later, then the big misstep was that your options at dodge were limited to Durango, Challenger, or a stronger Charger. Otherwise you head to move outside the brand (or company).

My progression (after I was already comfortable in my post-college career path) was:
2007 Charger RT AWD ~3.5yrs
2010 Challenger SRT (Charger sold) ~2yrs
2012 Journey SXT ~1.5yrs
2012 Charger Superbee (Challenger sold) ~7mos
2013 Charger SXT AWD (Superbee and Journey sold) going on 8yrs now
2014 Cherokee Trailhawk <1yr
2014 Durango RT (Cherokee sold) ~3.5yrs
2017 Charger RT Scat Pack (Durango sold) ~2yrs
2018 Dodge Durango SRT 1.5yrs so far

You have to take my vehicle as out of context with other buyers my age. 1. No debt starting out, and 2. EP Pricing and deal hunting. Those 2 things made it much easier to buy those vehicles.

However, the SRT Durango was the first used vehicle I have bought in years. New it was WELL outside my budget, but I scoured around and waited 3 months for this used deal to pop up and I snatched it up.

So lets play the game out now (let's ignore COVID related supply issues for now)

First time buyer can get an SXT or GT Charger or Challenger. Prices aren't bad and they are good looking vehicles. But where do you go from there? RT is not enough of a differentiator and you lose AWD, so if you are already missing that, why not go Scat Pack. You have the exact same vehicle but a lot more power and that's ok.

However, if you increase family size where are you at? 2 kids in car seats is not tenable for those vehicles (my opinion). Your next option is a downgrade because the 392 Durango is waaay higher priced than the 392 Charger/Challenger you are now driving. Even the 5.7 was commanding sometimes a 10k+ premium over comparable Scat Pack Chargers (comparable equipment in my area).

So if that is still outside your price range you have what, the Journey? Might as well stay in the Charger. Otherwise you have to go outside the brand. Sure you could theoretically move to the other brands. But without a true midsize CUV/SUV offering, if you start in a Charger/Challenger, where do you go incrementally? Jeep Grand Cherokee or Chrysler Pacifica? But those brands don't offer that same performance feel. Yes Jeep HAS amazing performance vehicles, but the brand is the premium and off-road brand. The performance vehicles are well beyond the typical buyer.

Dodge doesn't need a whole lot, but if they are trying to be the "on-road performance" brand vs the Jeep "off-road performance" theme, they need to fill some gaps.

Something fun segmented below Charger/Challenger, and something segmented between Durango and Charger.

[The below is completely pie in the sky thinking and is just my ramblings, not something I think can happen in short order or without loads of money]

At this point, if I were in charge of Dodge with full control of future product, a simple line up to retain customers would be the following:

  • Charger/Challenger continuing as the main performance vehicle set
  • Reintroduce "Magnum" as the allegedly currently in development Charger based Crossover, Gas and Hybrid capable performance.
  • Take Cherokee or Alfa Stelvio as baseline and create a compact CUV that is more of a performance vehicle.
  • Either make a Magnum 3-row (harder) or Grand Cherokee L-based 3 row (easier), let's call it Magnum L for now
  • (Assumption based on current info) Durango moves to BOF like Wagoneer in a year or 2, stays as the top level 3 row Dodge

  • A decision needs to be made regarding 5.7 vs 6.4. The real-world economy penalty has been negligible for me. So I would recommend scuttling the 5.7 in the dodge cars.
  • As an interim step 2.0T, eTorque, and a dodge-ified 4xes needs to be added to the lineup.

So my theoretical lineup is:
Small Vehicle: Dodge Hornet,
-Trims: SXT/GT: 2.0, R/T: 2.0T and SRT: 4xe (wrangler)

Medium Vehicle: Charger and Challenger,
- Trims: SXT: 3.6 eTorque, GT: 2.0T, R/T: 6.4 eTorque, SRT-E: 4xe HO (new), SRT: Hellcat

Family Vehicle: Magnum:
- Trims: SXT: 3.6 eTorque, GT: 2.0T, R/T: 6.4 eTorque, SRT-E: 4xe (wrangler), SRT: Hellcat

Large Vehicle: Magnum L:
- Trims: SXT: 3.6 eTorque, GT: 2.0T, R/T: 6.4 eTorque, SRT-E: 4xe (wrangler)

XLarge Vehicle: Durango:
- Trims: SXT: 3.6 eTorque, GT: 5.7 eTorque (same as Wagoneer), R/T: 6.4 eTorque, SRT-E: 4xe HO (new)

This would be an initial "first 5 years" of Tavares mandate of 10 years to prove existence. It's an easy win toward the electrification trend, due it mostly being stuff already in the parts bin. The 6.4 eTorque and the 4xe HO version are the only 2 new items.

Then depending on if full electrification is sustainable at that time, the next 5yrs can be spent introducing the full electric performance vehicles (or moving to them).

This was just my uneducated opinion, and has minimal bearing in reality, just what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Erik Latranyi
Would be solved with a Turbo Grand Caravan with cool colors and hot wheels.
They did try that years ago. Then they had the "Man Van". You just can't make a minivan masculine enough....it seems.

Maybe stuff a Hemi into one?

But the Durango Hellcat shows you can make hot CUVs and sell them to families.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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I heard pricing starting in the mid-$40k range.
That's pretty high but comparing , say, a Charger Scat Pack to an Ioniq, I suspect they'll come out similarly priced. Ioniq may even have a space edge. Then you'd save on fuel (electricity is cheaper) and maybe oil changes (though if you use the bult in computer these are likely to be every ten months anyway.)
 

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I am not stirred up at all. It is further PROOF of brand mismanagement under Marchionne.

If Dodge had retained pickups, minivans and been the CUV brand without Jeep utility and capability, then it could have taken those young buyers and retained them within the brand as they grew up and had more disposable income.

Instead, they get young buyers who get a family and go elsewhere for the minivan, CUV and even pickup.
Erik - you know I respect you a great deal. Marchionne has been dead for nearly a full product cycle at this point. Manley was in charge for 3 years prior to the merger. If Marchionne was the problem, that excuse really ran out 18 months ago as programs could have been re-fired and accelerated the moment Manley took over. Instead of looking at the executives, the ownership should be under the microscope, particularly Elkann. Fundamentally executives do what owners tell them to. Yes, they offer analysis, insight, and advice, but the board and owners ultimately determine the strategic direction.

The issues within CDJR are not just about capital or product allocation either. The supplier relationships, dealer quality & experience, overall product quality...they are ALL nearly worst-in-class and they're all related to each other.

Fixing this is actually simple and straightforward - Doug Betts turned it quickly over a decade ago. It simply has to be a priority and focus, and the company has to prioritize spend on supplier components (which affects quality & warranty), allow dealers to make the calls quickly on warranty, and dealer accountability to both service quality and excessive warranty costs/claims.
 
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