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HarleyEarl

Dodge

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Stratus out, Avenger in at Dodge

Name change may not be enough to battle Asians

By Brett Clanton / The Detroit News


Chrysler is expected to yank the Stratus name from its Dodge midsize sedan when the car's replacement arrives in early 2007.

The new vehicle will be called Avenger, a moniker last used on a Dodge coupe that was killed off in 2000, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Chrysler officials declined to confirm the name change, which comes as the DaimlerChrysler AG unit is moving to toughen up the image of Dodge cars to mesh with the bold marketing of Dodge trucks.

Analysts say the car, even with a new name, will face challenges as it prepares to enter the ultra-competitive midsize passenger car category now ruled by the popular Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

"It's going to be difficult to make as big of a splash as they have in other segments," said Erich Merkle, an industry analyst at IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids.

In 2004, Dodge passenger car sales plummeted by more than 25 percent, ending the year with 1.8 percent of the U.S. market, even as Chrysler's overall sales improved, according to Autodata Corp.

But the truck-heavy Dodge brand is hoping to revive car sales with vehicles like the recently launched Charger full-size sedan and upcoming Caliber, a small sport wagon due in early 2006.

"We always want to be competitive in these categories," said Chrysler spokeswoman Beth Ann Bayus. "That's certainly a priority for us."

The Avenger name was last seen on a coupe built for Dodge by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. that was on the market between 1995 and 2000. The nameplate also appeared on a 2003 concept vehicle.

Avenger is an improvement over Stratus, a name that reinforced the blandness of the current vehicle, said Jim Hall, an analyst with AutoPacific in Detroit.

"When the name is a punch line in a 'Saturday Night Live' skit, you got problems," Hall said, referring to a sketch starring Will Farrell as the father of a dysfunctional family who repeatedly screams "I drive a Dodge Stratus!"

Chrysler will spend $240 million to renovate a factory in Sterling Heights for the launch of the next generation Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible and the four-door Avenger. The first Sebring is expected next summer.

The Sebring-Stratus lineup hit its peak in 2001 with sales of 251,000, according to industry consultant Global Insight. But the Sebring-Avenger combo is expected to fall short of that mark. Edited by HarleyEarl
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Well, it looks better than a Camry or Accord.
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The current Stratus is a very decent looking car. And the rear wing is quite radical.
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I actually like the Stratus and I also was fond of the Avenger, both IMO good looking cars............ I wish chevy offered a midsize coupe like a Beretta again.
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I agree...Chevy needs a midsized coupe like the Baretta. I suppose some would argue, the Monte Carlo fills that niche. But I would like something inbetween it and the Cobalt.
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You do not talk about my car that way! I drive...I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!!

[post="20402"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


:blink:


I heard years ago the COUPE would be named Avenger, not the sedan...
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:blink:
I heard years ago the COUPE would be named Avenger, not the sedan...

[post="20510"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The coupe was named 'Avenger' since its debut, just as the Cirrus's companion was named 'Sebring' until that name simply took over the sedan.
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Hmm....

I never understood why Dodge axed that "Avenger" name in the first place ... to me, Avenger sounded more Dodge than Stratus or any of the "cloud" names....

*shrugs*


Cort, "Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip", 32swm/pig valve/pacemaker
MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/
Models.HO = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/trainroom.html
"I'm not the only person with these things in mind" ... Linkin Park ... 'Somewhere I Belong'
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Chop? Isn't that pic just the current Stratus? Not sure, since they don't sell it here...
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You do not talk about my car that way! I drive...I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!!

[post="20402"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

LOL! What a waste of website space if its just that one page! I was thinking of Vertex, a cloth upholstery pattern in a previous Dodge or Chrysler (check some old brochures-they occasionally name their vehicles after the name has been used for an upholstery or wheel), but I guess Avenger would go well. Mopar better advertise this time and differentiate heavily, two things that I'm sure have had a major effect on retail sales. Yeah that pic's a 2005-06 Stratus R/T sedan, or an SXT with the Sport package.
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i think that is a lot of the problem right there, no advertising. i cannot for the life of me remeber when i saw or heard, or read ANYTHING about the midsize cars from dodge or chrysler. and yet those charger commercials are on every break on every channel. -_-
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That photo of the Dodge is from the Chrysler website. I doubt they are chopping. This is available for purchase as one see's it.
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It's a current Stratus.
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You know, it does look like a chop. It actually looks like a stretched Cobalt from the A-pillar back with a Dodge front end tacked on. It's...strangely appealing, yet wrong on so many levels.
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I agree...Chevy needs a midsized coupe like the Baretta.  I suppose some would argue, the Monte Carlo fills that niche.  But I would like something inbetween it and the Cobalt.

[post="20486"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



If it was 1985, and trucks were only 30% of the maket, then yeah. But at the same time, the coupe market has shrank and 2 door buyers want more style like a Mustang. A lookalike FWD coupe would sit in rental lots in FL, not sell.
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I like the Avenger name better but the car DID not change enough stylistically to warrant a name change. Fly: I thought you had an Aurora? :huh:
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Fly: I thought you had an Aurora? :huh:

[post="21925"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Guess you either didn't click on the link or didn't see the several-year-old sketch on SNL with Will Ferrell.

He tries to enforce his authority as the man of the house at dinner by yelling his accomplishments, among them that he manages 29 employees, can do push-ups on one hand, and drives a Dodge Stratus.
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Damn I love Will Ferrell... neber saw that one though and the link is not working, all that comes up is a sillly walpaper with tiled Black Stratuses on it and the slogan writen acros it.
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Damn I love Will Ferrell... neber saw that one though and the link is not working, all that comes up is a sillly walpaper with tiled Black Stratuses on it and the slogan writen acros it.

[post="21957"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Ha ha.......that's all the website is. If you wait long enough, the .wav file will load and you will here Will yelling "I drive......I drive a Dodge Stratus!"
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Ahhh.... my sound was turned off.
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One has to hope the 3.5 finds the way in as the top engine, and that we get a supercharged SRT-6 as well....
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One has to hope the 3.5 finds the way in as the top engine, and that we get a supercharged SRT-6 as well....

[post="25247"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yes, it will.........but not the top engine! :ph34r:


and remember.....the 3.5L has 250 HP


Avenger SRT-6 will destroy all!
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