Update #2 Oct-06-2009 06:37 PDT:
The official word from Chrysler is that there won't be any dealer changes as a result of creating the Dodge Ram and Dodge Car brand organizations.
"The whole point of [dealer consolidation] is to sell all brands under one roof, said Kathy Graham, a Chrysler spokeswoman. "Roughly 80 percent of our dealers now have all brands under one roof, moving to 100 percent."
Update #1 Oct-05-2009 20:44 PDT:
Car & Driver reports that "SUVs such as the Nitro and the next-generation Durango will fall under the purview of the Dodge Car brand."
It’s official. After weeks of rumors, Sergio Marchionne, managing director of Fiat and CEO of Chrysler, has officially announced that Dodge trucks will be separated from cars under the Dodge Ram brand.
“The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge Ram Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations,” Marchionne said. “This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand.”
The full vehicle split hasn’t been released yet, but the Ram nameplate is expected to be used for pickups, commercial vans and body-on-frame SUVs, while cars, minivans and crossovers will be sold under the Dodge cars badge.
Fred Diaz Jr. has been appointed President and CEO of the Dodge Ram brand. Diaz will also be the lead executive for the Ram sales organization in the U.S.; Diaz has been with the Chrysler since 1989.
For a company facing many tactical and strategic challenges, is splitting trucks from cars the right thing to do?