• May 16, 2006
In a questionable PR move, Chrysler's VP of Communications Jason Vines told Inside Line that despite internet reports of a supplier already working on components for the production version of the Dodge Challenger Concept the company has not yet given the pony project a green light. Vines, who is on the product strategy team for the Challenger, says a business case is being produced "fast" and a decision should be reached by the end of the year. We already know Chevy needs to produce 100,000 Camaros annually for its pony car to turn a profit, so it would stand to reason Dodge is considering how it's going to move that many Challengers. Currently the Mustang is capable of 160,000 sales per year, so the big question is whether or not the market can sustain the sale of 300,000-plus muscle cars per year.

[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why bother with another derivation of the LX when DCX can't do the primary cars well.

      2.7 V6 + W5a580 + 3.64 axle ratio (rear drive)
      2.7 V6 + W5a580 + 3.90 axle ratio (four wheel drive)
      3.5 V6 + W5a580 + 3.07 axle ratio (rear drive)
      3.5 V6 + W5a580 + 3.64 axle ratio (four wheel drive)
      5.7 V8 + W5a580 + 2.82 axle ratio (rear drive)
      5.7 V8 + W5a580 + 3.07 axle ratio (four wheel drive)

      Too damn easy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think dodge needs to sell 100,000 challengers to make a business case for it. I suspect that given the 300 and charger that a small 30-40,000 production per year would be enough to sustain the challenger.
      • 8 Years Ago
      > so the big question is whether or not the market can sustain the sale of 300,000-plus muscle cars per year

      Puh-leez. The majority of new Mustangs that hit the street are NOT muscle cars. They are moderately powered two-door coupes. Retro styling is not synonymous with muscle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wha? $30k? The Challenger would bomb at that price. It needs to be $24k and under, and get decent gas mileage.

      I don't care about the Challenger so much, but I'm looking forward to seeing the Camaro. Hopefully they don't tone down the lines much--and hopefully they'll get moving on pushing it to production for 2008.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tim, I agree. The Challenger will be another car off the 300 platform which is already making back it's cost. The Camaro is on a new platform (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), though even there, is GM saying it needs to sell 100k Camaros or 100k cars split between Camaro and Firebird?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can the market sustain 300,000 pony cars a year?
      I also, don't beleive DCX has too build that many.
      Just like when the 300 came out, they were not running the plant at full throttle.
      Once business picked up, they added a 3rd shift.
      Now they build all three, 300, Magnum & Charger. Adding the Challenger to that line? If they do?
      I am sure they can squeeze out 30 to 40K cars per year.

      If demand is high, then there will be an issue.

      Price will be the number 1 factor, either it will be priced similar to the Mustang, or same as the Charger, which may be too high?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I quit buying or even looking at Chrysler products years ago after a run of problems with an '86 LeBaron, '90 Sundance, and '93 Shadow (same problems on all three). The Challenger is the first time in twelve years I've even considered purchasing another Chrysler product.

      I think there's plenty of market for it. Ford sells 160k Mustangs a year because that's all they make. There's room for more cars of this sort.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mustang also has a lot of companies turning out different versions of them too. What is there like 8 to 10 different versions to choose from?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The real joke here is that dcx already stated that the challenger is much larger than the mustang due to the bigger firewall,(borrowed from the 300) and alas all the body proportions to that firewall make the car bigger, so we will charge lots more than the mustang, and now they cant figure out if they should build it ? truly hope there decsion is based on cost, at how this car will be way over overpriced and wont sell due to high price. also heard dcx is pissed that camaro is getting 300 emails a day to please build it and the challenger aint getting many emails !
      • 8 Years Ago
      Part of the business case on the negative side for the Challenger is going to be cost and gas mileage. The Challenger is based on a shortened LX platform which already underpins the 300C, Magnum and Charger. DCX will need to provide at a minimum a 5.7 hemi as an option to keep costs down and MPG up. Just look at the Charger R/T and SRT8 for costs and MPG for a Challenger. To play in the pony market you need to hit under 30k and DCX won’t do that using only a 6.1 getting an average of 16 MPG.

      I agree that DCX doesn’t need to sell 100k of these a year to be profitable since the platform is spread around to so many models.
      • 8 Years Ago
      DJ,
      The new Camaro is to utilize the new GM Zeta Platform along with the new VE Holden Commodore, Pontiac GTO, Chevy Impala, Chevy Monte Carlo and Buick Velite. There's also suppose to be 3 other sedans (Pontiac, Buick, Saturn) to use this platform. So it's not really going to be a unique vehicle in that sense.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Demand for any product does not remain at the same level over time. It can go up or down. Look at the demand for the Apple ipod. When it became part of the culture the demand took off. The same thing can happen to muscle cars. A lot of young people have never known the excitement of horsepower and performance. It has a primal attraction that cannot be reasoned away. Oddly enough, I also see it as a safety feature. If muscle cars become part of the culture again 300,000 total sales per year might become 300,000 sales per quarter. Worldwide, of course.
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