Chrysler's New Ram Plan Poses Brand Jam

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Jim Higgins, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Jim Higgins

    Jim Higgins Guest

    Chrysler's New Ram Plan Poses Brand Jam

    Chrysler is potentially headed for a brand problem that will rival the
    pickle that GM is trying to extricate itself from.

    Here is the deal. Chrysler has three main brands at the moment:
    Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. But it has made it clear to the ad agencies
    pitching its ad account that it is splitting off its pickup truck and
    commercial vehicle business off to a new brand—Ram.

    That’s right. Going forward, and as soon as Chrysler has the idea to run
    with, the pickup it sells now won’t be sold as Dodge Ram, but
    rather….Ram. Other vehicles that will come from the Fiat-Chrysler tie up
    in the commercial segment will also be called Ram.

    So, now we are up to four brands to support. Now, add the Fiat 500,
    which will be sold as a Fiat when it arrives in Chrysler showrooms in
    2011. And, don’t forget Alfa Romeo, which Fiat will sell through
    Chrysler distribution in key markets that make sense for the Italian
    sport car maker.

    This seems like a lot of brand differentiation to manage and support by
    a company that has been poor at both.

    As I look at auto sales numbers through August, I see a 9.2% market
    share for Chrysler spread among the three brands it has. That share is
    inevitably going to go down as the company pares models. Indeed, Merrill
    Lynch projects that Chrysler loses a whopping five to six points of
    share in the next four years unless it comes up with some product
    surprises from the Fiat alliance.

    If you consider it likely that Fiat and Alfa-Romeo combine for less than
    1 point of share, then you have five brands potentially carving up
    something between 4 and 6 points of share, and that is if the company
    over-achieves. Also…four brands at a single showroom, while we wait to
    see how the company sort out the distribution real estate for Alfa at
    Chrysler dealerships.

    This goes to brand/distribution/marketing efficiency. Toyota has 16.5%
    of the market spread across three brands. GM has 16.7% of the market
    with the four brands it plans to go forward with—Chevy, Cadillac, Buick,

    If Chrysler isn’t clever beyonid all expectations, it is going to have a
    brand jumble that will make people look to GM as a benchmark of
    brand/marketing efficiency.
    Jim Higgins, Sep 8, 2009
  2. Jim Higgins

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Joe Pfeiffer, Sep 8, 2009
  3. Jim Higgins

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    Oops -- also Jeep. Probably. In which case Fiat's investors should
    start selling, to avoid the Jeep Curse.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Sep 8, 2009
  4. Jim Higgins

    Riley 77 Guest

    Oh wow, gotta get me a new Dodge Ram Van, man....
    Riley 77, Sep 9, 2009
  5. Wish that they would bring that back and get rid of that abortion they
    make now. Dodge needs to make a competing full sized "van" and not a
    delivery truck. My friend had a Ram Van, 318 V-8, TorqueFlite. He
    loved that vehicle. It finally just fell apart around him. He now has
    a Dodge Grand Caravan, but he said it is really not the same.
    Guy Caballero, Sep 9, 2009
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