While the rumors of Dodge being discontinued have been fairly unfounded with little support of any kind, the internet has been packed with discussions of how the Chrysler Group management team is working to remove redundancies between their brands. For instance, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 are essentially the same vehicles will different trim levels and different sheet metal. The same is true (on most levels) for the Dodge Durango/Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Avenger/Chrysler 200 leaving only the Dodge Dart, the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Journey as “unique” vehicles. When you consider the fact that so many Dodge models are available in very similar fashion as other models from other brands within the company combined with company CEO Sergio Marchionne’s desire to remove these redundancies among the brands – it would make sense that there could be some changes and those media sources who enjoy feeding the rumor mill believed that killing off the Dodge brand would be how Chrysler handled this issue.
Fortunately for Dodge brand fans, it seems that those rumors are not likely to come to volition as Dodge brand CEO Tim Kuniskis told The Detroit Bureau that there are no plans to consolidate the brand and that the Dodge brand has a “very solid future”. He wouldn’t go into any real details about the future direction of the brand but it has been openly discussed for some time that either the Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan would be discontinued and while one would continue on as the market’s bestselling minivan – the brand that loses its minivan will likely see a new utility crossover similar to the Ford Transit Connect in its lineup shortly after.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as while Dodge does offer a handful of models that are similar to other models from other brands – Dodge is also the company’s top brand in terms of sales and it has been for quite some time. The Jeep brand will occasionally catch the Dodge lineup in monthly sales but Dodge has been the clear volume brand for Chrysler for many moons and simply killing off the brand would undoubtedly have a negative impact on sales. After all, many of the company’s bestselling nameplates across the various segments are Dodge products including the Charger (which comfortably outsells the Chrysler 300), the Dart (which has no competition within the segment), the Grand Caravan (which outsells the Chrysler Town & Country and the Avenger (which outsells the Chrysler 200).
When the rumors of Chrysler killing off the Dodge brand surfaced, the current sales figures made those rumors very unlikely but Tim Kuniskis’ comments to the Detroit Bureau should put them to rest. It is clear from that interview that there could be some changes coming to the Dodge lineup but the success of so many modern Dodge models should ensure that the brand founded by John and Horace Dodge should be around for a very long time.
Source: The Detroit Bureau