Latest Reader Question: Chrysler & The Future

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Gary asks: I’m loving the Dodge Chargers I’ve had a chance to drive through Hertz.  I have one right now, an R/T, and I love the sound, although I don’t let it shout-out or bother my fellow Americans. I just love the subtle rumble.  I also liked the base Charger, quite nice. PS: I no longer own cars, I rent them in 2 week bursts, but I’m keeping the R/T! Also, I thought Chrysler (Dodge) got the Sprinter vans from Mercedes. I think that has worked out ok.

My reply: Renting a car you might be interested in buying is a great way to get an extended test drive, without a salesman along for the ride! It’s well worth the small (in context) amount of money vs. ending up with a car you end up realizing you don’t especially like much.

You’re right about the Sprinter – it’s a Mercedes. But it’s not going to save Dodge – and I’m as worried about the Dodge brand as I am about Chrysler. If Fiat doesn’t commit the funds to update the 300/Charger and they both die on the vine, it will certainly mean the end of Chrysler – which would then have just one “car” to sell (a minivan) and there’s no sustaining a brand on one vehicle. But Dodge would be in deep trouble, too.

Take away the Charger and you also take away the Challenger (which is also ancient, relative to the Camaro and Mustang) and then what have you got? The Dart failed and is no more. Dodge would be left with next to nothing to sell.

I had a bad feeling when Fiat spun off the Ram brand from Dodge – and still have that bad feeling. It was done for a reason. Dodge trucks were profitable; Dodge cars less so. Fiat separating the two suggests Fiat plans to euthanize Dodge, or foresees the inevitability.

Imagine GM taking trucks and SUVs away from Chevy to grok the meaning.

I hope I am wrong…

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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