“Cars aren’t dead; commodity products are.” This was a key theme throughout Dodge’s presentation to MAMA media members during MAMA’s latest eMeet.
Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America, led the presentation on the new Dodge/SRT performance lineup. According to Kuniskis, while cars only make up 28% of market share, Dodge/SRT performance vehicles attract buyers because they have that “want” versus “need” appeal.
An example of this is the 807-hp Challenger SRT Super Stock. Dodge says it’s the world’s quickest, most powerful muscle car, capable of sprinting from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.25 seconds and running the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds. Perhaps it’s true that people don’t exactly need this car, but it’s certainly fun to drive.
New for 2021 is the 710-horsepower Durango SRT Hellcat model, which Dodge says is the most powerful SUV ever. In addition, the entire 2021 Durango lineup gets an exterior-styling refresh for a more aggressive look; a new interior with a Challenger-inspired, driver-centric cockpit; the new Uconnect 5 infotainment system on an available, largest-in-class 10.1-inch touchscreen; and a new Durango R/T Tow N Go package—as well as best-in-class towing across the lineup and more performance than ever.
Additionally, Kuniskis shared updates on the new-for-2021 Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. It puts out 797 horsepower and is capable of a top speed of 203 miles per hour, which makes it the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
“Fast” and “powerful” are key words used to described these vehicles, which tug at the “want” part of the brain versus the “need.” That’s how the brand continues to be so successful in this space, according to Kuniskis. “If you can be the big fish in the smaller pond, that’s good business. The muscle car segment isn’t a big one, so it’s a good segment for a brand like Dodge to do well.”
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, people were buying these vehicles. So much so, that inventory was low and orders were put on hold. However, Dodge is now able to fulfill most of the orders that were placed a few months ago.
Looking to the future, Dodge acknowledges that it will need to grow with the times for its products to remain relevant, adapting to CAFE standards and adding more offerings to its current vehicle lineup. But for now, Dodge’s strategy seems to be working. For example:
- J.D. Power ranks Dodge #1 for quality and appeal
- Consumer Reports Top Ten Most Reliable Brands
- ALG residual value leader
- #1 segment share
- Top performance, best-in-industry claims (across all models)
- Unique customer demographics including young, family-oriented, diverse, loyal and engaged
MAMA’s next eMeet is with Toyota on the all-new Venza, and will take place virtually on Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 1-2 CDT.