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AutoBlog: REPORT: Chrysler to make Ram its own brand

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Filed under: Coupe, Minivan/Van, Sedan, Performance, SUV, Truck, Europe, Crossover, Chrysler, Dodge

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When a report came out earlier this week regarding Fiat's intentions for Chrysler (making it a Cadillac competitor), Dodge (focusing on driving dynamics) and Jeep (being, well, Jeep), one semi-iconic nameplate was left out of the discussion: Ram.

Toiling away under the Dodge brand, the Ram moniker has been reserved for Chrysler Co.'s truck offerings. However, a new initiative could promote the Ram as a standalone brand, focusing exclusively on vans, SUVs, commercial vehicles, and, of course, pickups. That would free Dodge from rough-and-tumble heavy-duty products, leaving it to fend for itself in the compact, mid-size and performance segments - although it's destined to receive some help from Alfa Romeo in the form of joint product development.

Unfortunately for Europe, Dodge - which was just recently introduced across the pond in 2006 - won't benefit from the reworked branding and products. According to InsideLine, Chrysler Group's European arm is likely to drop Dodge abroad in the future. So get your Avenger, Caliber, Journey or Nitro while you can... if you must.

[source: InsideLine]

REPORT: Chrysler to make Ram its own brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Sep 2009 18:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hmmm... I wonder if this is the first step in selling Ram to a competitor, as it somewhat is redundant to Jeep or is it the first step in phasing out Dodge, replaced by FIAT.

This is such a odd move that I think we will look back on this as a first sign of a bigger change.

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It is a stupid move. I mean for one, Ram as a brand name sounds stupid, IMO. "Buy the new Ram Ram, the new Ram Dakota, and the new Ram Durango".

Yeah...no.

The Ram should stay what it is: the name for Dodges full size pickup truck line.

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Seems strange. I'm under the impression that this would confuse consumers. Dodge seems to be synonymous with trucks; especially after the HEMI Ram ads with Jon Reep. Heck, even the 1st Gen Magnum's truckish front-end suggests that Dodge is about trucks.

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I agree, Dodge is know for trucks (and minivans). The Ram is an important part of Dodge's lineup. It's also the only new model the company has, and the best one at that. They shouldn't go messing with it. No need for more brands.

Plus the Ram head has been Dodge's logo for over a decade. It would just confuse more than help.

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Let's see...

* Ram becomes its own brand and Dodge loses its truck products.

* Dodge is phased out in Europe.

* Alfa and Dodge are working on joint product development.

Please tell me that Sergio is not contemplating a product alignment between Alfa and Dodge. That's completely ludicrous. I always considered Alfa as a premium brand. Dodge has always been downwind from Chrysler and Chrysler hasn't been at true premium status for quite a while now. I seriously doubt that the U.S. market would ever seriously accept Dodge as a sporty premium brand. If Sergio wants to sell Alfas in the U.S., he should sell them as Alfas.

I think Sergio should complete Chrysler's move downmarket and make the brand a high volume mainstream brand. I think it would be easier to use the Chrysler brand name to bring a little prestige to the mainstream segment than try to move the brand back upmarket into luxury territory. Chrysler would make a big impact in the mainstream sedan segment if it were to use the 200C EV Concept as design inspiration for a new generation of well executed Chrysler brand mainstream sedans. I can see Chrysler becoming a major force in the mainstream segment if it were to offer some stylish mainstream sedans and minivans. Dodge should become a niche brand that focuses on what the brand has done best in the past: trucks and affordable sporty coupes. Jeep should become the mainstream utilitarian brand with a lineup that includes SUVs and CUVs. Fiat would be a quirky Euro affordable small vehicle brand with a lineup that includes small hatchbacks and some funky little utility products.

Launching Ram as a separate make seems unnecessary to me, unless Sergio is planning to pair Dodge with Alfa. If he were to do this (which I still think is foolish), then trucks would certainly not fit in the brand's lineup anymore.

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Let's see...

* Ram becomes its own brand and Dodge loses its truck products.

* Dodge is phased out in Europe.

* Alfa and Dodge are working on joint product development.

Please tell me that Sergio is not contemplating a product alignment between Alfa and Dodge. That's completely ludicrous. I always considered Alfa as a premium brand. Dodge has always been downwind from Chrysler and Chrysler hasn't been at true premium status for quite a while now. I seriously doubt that the U.S. market would ever seriously accept Dodge as a sporty premium brand. If Sergio wants to sell Alfas in the U.S., he should sell them as Alfas.

I think Sergio should complete Chrysler's move downmarket and make the brand a high volume mainstream brand. I think it would be easier to use the Chrysler brand name to bring a little prestige to the mainstream segment than try to move the brand back upmarket into luxury territory. Chrysler would make a big impact in the mainstream sedan segment if it were to use the 200C EV Concept as design inspiration for a new generation of well executed Chrysler brand mainstream sedans. I can see Chrysler becoming a major force in the mainstream segment if it were to offer some stylish mainstream sedans and minivans. Dodge should become a niche brand that focuses on what the brand has done best in the past: trucks and affordable sporty coupes. Jeep should become the mainstream utilitarian brand with a lineup that includes SUVs and CUVs. Fiat would be a quirky Euro affordable small vehicle brand with a lineup that includes small hatchbacks and some funky little utility products.

While this isn't how I envisioned the plans being positioned that's not a bad idea at all.

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Fiat as a brand of more than niche models will fail in the US.

Ram trucks will fail if not Dodge brand.

Fiat appears to deliberately want to run chrysler out of business.

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Well it wouldn't be the fist time a company tried to destroy Chrysler. It would actually be the third in a row now.

I can see their reasoning by making the Ram its own brand and focusing Dodge as affordable sporty cars. However, where does that leave vehicles like the Caravan? It's an important vehicle which is not a truck but certainly not a sporty car. It's just not necessary.

As for pulling Dodge out of Europe...well I'm sure Dodge hasn't been a runaway success what with it offering the Avenger and Journey. I don't even know what else it sells over there.

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chrysler needs the 200 and 300. clearly. they could stand to have one more model. what exactly, i am not sure. maybe a small car or two which is a rebadged alfa or fix it again tony.

i would consider ditching the town and country but it has a lot of market equity. so much, that dodge needs to exist to absorb its potential loss into the caravan brand.

"Ram Trucks" by Dodge.........maybe works. but there should still be a dodge badge on it somewhere if sold in the US.

caravan, journey, ram trucks, challenger, charger. i would have preferred that they had kept the intrepid and stratus healthy brands. in addition to remaking the caliber they really need a small sedan. sentra sized.

for awhile i figured that dodge really would have been best partnering with mitsubishi. galant = intrepid, etc. it would have improved those cars and given dodge a far lower investment required to stay in the game in fwd sedans. the charger is a nice bookend model but should not be dodge's volume sedan.

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This sounds a bit silly to me. I could see it more if they made Dodge only truck based and Chrysler cars and minivans. Some mopar guys wouldn't like this. I kind of hate it when companies do the dual line thing like the Chrysler Town and Country and the Dodge Caravan. Sure there are some differences but they could simply merge them into one line. Most every auto company does this so this is not against the Chrysler/Dodge moniker.

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Plus the Ram head has been Dodge's logo for over a decade. It would just confuse more than help.

Maybe the fratzog will return!

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