The Dodge Hornet name first appeared on a sporty compact performance crossover (shown on the right) but after making its rounds of the world’s auto shows, this sharp little crossover seemed to vanish right along with the Hornet name. When the Dodge Caliber was introduced only as a hatchback to replace the popular Dodge Neon sedan, there were rumors of a sedan based on the Caliber that would carry the Hornet name so it should come as no surprise that when it was announced that the Caliber replacement debuting next January would be a sedan – rumors of the Hornet name began swirling. However, the Detroit News reports that Dodge brand boss Reid Bigland stated recently that the new C Segment sedan debuting at the 2012 NAIAS will not be called the Hornet.
The Chrysler Group does not have a proper vehicle to compete with the links of the Chevrolet Cruze, the Honda Civic, the Ford Focus or the Hyundai Elantra and with the C Segment sedan class being among the most important in the US market – it is vital for the new Dodge C Segment entry to be more successful than the outgoing Caliber. The vehicles listed above are among the bestselling models in the US so if the Chrysler Group wants to continue to see their sales figures grow in relation to their competitors, the success of this new Alfa-based Dodge sedan is very, very important. Chrysler had a major C Segment player with the Dodge Neon but when that sporty entry level sedan was replaced by the Caliber – they effectively removed themselves from the segment. With this new Alfa Romeo-based sedan coming to the Dodge brand lineup, the Chrysler Group looks to hope to rekindle the success of the Neon.
So, could the new Dodge sedan based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta be called the new Dodge Neon? There doesn’t seem to be any reason why Dodge couldn’t use the Neon name and in the recent history of the company, few cars have sold as well as the Neon. From the first time that it was introduced in the mid 1990s, the Dodge Neon offered a nice, affordable compact sedan along with some performance packages of varying levels, including the Neon R/T and the turbocharged Neon SRT4. Bringing back the Neon name could appeal to the hoards of diehard Neon enthusiasts around the US while also bringing back a nameplate that served the company very well in the 1990s and 2000s.
Other Chrysler Group News:
The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth arrives at the 2011 LA Auto Show with 160hp
Slow Fiat 500 sales bring about layoffs at the Dundee engine plant
Chrysler dual clutch transmissions in question for 2012
The Dodge Challenger SRT8 ACR drops at SEMA 2011
Chrysler introduces the Ram 1500 Police Truck