Chrysler Reconfirms its Commitment to Dodge (Again)


Hopefully there won't be any change of heart.

Earlier this summer, some rumors began to spread claiming that it was only a matter of time until Chrysler decided to shut down its Dodge brand. The possible reason for doing so was because of a supposed personality conflict, so to speak, between Dodge and Alfa Romeo. Basically, Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants Alfa back in the US with a fresh lineup, which could actually have a negative impact on Dodge sales. Even the new SRT brand poses another internal challenge.

But now Dodge brand chief Tim Kuniskis has made clear once again that ditching Dodge "is not a part of a master plan to consolidate brands." However, the actual size of the Dodge portfolio "remains to be seen." What this means is that Marchionne wants to eliminate as much badge engineering as possible, specifically referring to models like the Caravan. More than likely the minivan that started the segment back in 1984 will be dropped in favor of the slightly more expensive Chrysler Town & Country, but the future of models like the Charger and Durango remain uncertain.

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The Charger, along with the Challenger, are still going strong, but the latter will eventually be dropped in favor of the SRT Barracuda, which will ride on a new platform that’ll be shared with Alfa Romeo. Any future Dodge lineup will probably consist of the Dart, Charger (or its replacement) and maybe the Durango. Then again, the Durango is built on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so does it make any sense for Chrysler to offer two semi-competing SUVs? In other words, Dodge is going to need a solid product if Chrysler really wants to stick with it.