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The Dodge "Freedom" ad still stands out in our minds as an example of excellent automotive advertising. The spot shows British troops patrolling on U.S. soil when a cavalry of American troops are led out of the woods. Helming the charge is a no-nonsense George Washington behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger. The British troops flee and the U.S. marches on towards its eventual freedom from the Queen's empire. Fast forward a few hundred years and our friends across the pond are not buying Dodge vehicles the way the automaker would prefer, and company insiders have told Autocar that the brand will no longer sell cars in the United Kingdom.

Recently, Dodge pulled the plug on the Nitro and Caliber due to dismal sales. Now we hear it has also waxed the Journey from price lists – the last Dodge model for sale over there. According to Autocar, Fiat plans to utilize the existing dealer network to launch Chrysler-badged Lancias throughout the UK and Europe.

It's typically sad news to hear an automaker forced to pull out of a specific region or area, but in this case, it seems like Chrysler and Fiat are making smart choices. If the two work together to sell the right vehicles where people want to buy them, then this American-Italian marriage is getting off on the right foot.

[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      No. It's not a good idea to sell rebadged Chryslers or Dodge models as Lancias.
      Keep Chrysler products throughout Europe.
      Dodge should have never been sold as Dodge. Chrysler sold products in Europe and still should.
      Lancia needs to use Chrysler parts, but not rebadging. Bad idea.Lancia should style its own vehicles. Look at the new Stratos.
      I say keep Chrysler products in Europe.
      With the new lineup they can sell them.
      paul
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im surprised the English can buy anything let alone a Dodge...They are in worse shape than us economically..and for the same reasons...Many are dumping thier cars because they cant afford to keep them and using public transportation.....Maybe Dodge should look into how to make cares more affordable for us Americans and let the Brits worry about thier Own problems
        • 4 Years Ago
        @paul
        Spoken like a true ignorant foreign person who knows nothing at all, this is the most arrogant and false statement i've ever heard.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @paul
        "They are in worse shape than us economically..and for the same reasons..."

        Complete and utter ignorance and arrogance. Britain's economic woes come from very different reasons than those in the States. In America, years of overspending and living off inordinate amounts of credit compared to incomes eventually brought overstretched banks to their knees. The more the banks borrowned from each other to fund the extravagance, the worse things became. Once the bad debt was called in, the entire financial infrastructure began falling apart. In the UK, the situation was very different but with similar effects. Three major housing price booms in the past 25 years and inflated housing markets have created mortgage requirements so high that many people simply got to the point where they were getting significantly in arrears. Repossessions were rife, everything connected with the housing market went to pot, and with the international credit crunch taking a stronghold, banks again could no longer afford to finance poor debtors.

        All in all, the US economy is currently in worse shape than the UK, with higher unemployment rates, far higher bankruptcy rates, fewer exports as a percentage of GDP, and slower growth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @paul
        Im afraid you are totally wrong as a Brit living in MA the state is a dump!!!! the road surface on all types of roads from local to Interstate is a discrace, the interstate bridges are falling apart & road signs rusting to the point of collapse
        http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/12002340531082/large-road-sign-collapses-on-rte-16-in-newton/
        Yes we are not in the boom times at the moment but we still have money to keep our infrustructure safe & at a standard where its not looking like a small eastern european state. Driving between Boston & New York is just hell!!! unlike say driving from the West of England all to way to the south of France (900miles)which is a pleasure with higher speed limits much higher standard of driving & safe road design.
        But its ok Yanks you just stay where you are & feel comfortable being brain washed your living at a free high standard & damning the rest of the world but as someone who does travel alot your in a bad state which is a shame but its fact!!
        paul
        • 4 Years Ago
        @paul
        well bloke and the others...its a funny thing...I have just come back to the states after 3 years of living in Kensington with freinds and I did not find that the case at all.....cover up if you like ...however Ive been there and ahve seen a lot of people suffering finaancially....my comment was not to compare the states with teh british situation as a comparison as to what went wrong ...it was a sympathetic comparision to rising prices and costs....thank YOU for being so ignorant
      • 4 Years Ago
      Won't be missed much I guess.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a shame to see Dodge disappear from the UK. It was the one American-sourced marque and product which offered products in the major European market segments, namely Caliber, Avenger, Journey and Nitro in that order, in both petrol and diesel guises.

      Unfortunately, poor build quality (especially the interior) and lack of building of the marque's recognition were the nails in the coffin for Dodge not just in the UK but throughout Europe. Chrysler's biggest single mistake was not proceeding with the B-segment Hornet concept which Dodge sorely needed to help boost its credibility.

      I always liked Dodge. It offered a sensible line-up for Europe and offered something different from the norm, in a package which was ostensibly American. It's a pity it wasn't a better made product.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty sure the article has a few mistakes as the Dodge Charger, Challenger and Viper are going to be the ONLY Dodge's sold over there (Performance only brand). While the others (Journey, Nitro etc) will be branded as Fiats and still sold over there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am not talking about now, I am talking about what's going to happen in the next couple of years. Dodge as a performance brand and the rest tagged and sold as Fiats.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Charger, Viper, Challenger, and the Hornet(now based on the Alfa Mito platform) will be the only Dodges sold in the UK. The other Dodges won't be branded as Fiats. The Journey and the Nitro will be discontinued in 2012, to be replaced either by a C-platform Jeep or a C-platform Dodge SUV bearing the Nitro name.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Umm... Your comment isn't right at all. The performance vehicles were never really officially imported to the UK by Chrysler, the Viper was imported by an external company independent of Dodge (as the SRT-10), and the Charger and Challenger only ever came over (I'm in the UK) as grey imports.

        You also misread about them selling Chryslers at Fiats, they're actually going to be selling Lancia's as Chryslers (Since the only Chrysler that sells in any numbers here is the Voyager, and even that is losing it's footing in the market with the shift to smaller Mazda 5-sized minivans).

        The UK market is so competitive, and since Dodge never really had any decent vehicles with any decent diesel engines (The diesels were horrid units borrowed from companies that didn't want them any more) and thirsty petrols, and since they were imported from the US instead of being built locally, they weren't even cheap!

        Good riddance I say. I even think that Lancia has a better brand image than Chrysler in the UK... Bring back Lancias as Lancias, I say. Scrub off the Chrysler badges. Badge the Voyager as a Lancia if you have to!

        I think alot of Americans buy uncompetitive and rubbish American cars to be seen to support their local economy and to be patriotic... We lost the majority of our auto industry years ago (And not all of us can afford Range Rovers or Lotuses) and so we actually buy cars that are good, rather than cars just because they are built in our area...! Unfortunately, that gets rid of almost the entire reason for buying a Chrysler product.
      • 4 Years Ago
      honestly the line up never really sparked an interest in me and that's a shame as Dodge as a brand name still packs a punch here. Maybe if Fiat/dodge made a few more EU focused cars much like what Ford do they would have kept going

      Oddly they never really gave the SRT4 a push here I figured with the right marketing they could have sold it as an alternative to the Golf GTI or Civic typeR but they never tried.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Eh, I'd buy a Lancia over a Dodge anyways if given the opportunity to be near a dealership. Dodge hasn't had a real home run, sure thing hit of a car/truck in a good while now.
      jim
      • 4 Years Ago
      having worked in the auto industry for over 25 yrs, i do believe all foriegn make's are junk. plain and simple and the only reason you may see older hondas still on the road is because some kid thinks it is fast with those fart mufflers on it. british cars are even worse than japanese or even that korean junk that is allowed here. but the reason it sells, it is cheaper in all facets of the word. cheaply made, products, labor. sure they offer a decent warranty till you try and use it. now dont get me wrong american cars have gone down hill also, but i do believe they are made better now than the last 20 yr's or so.


      its like those commercials for toyota, brand loyalty. so grand pa bought some crap years ago gave it to his son now his son wants to drive one just like grand pa. but they forgiot to tell him all the problems they had with that rusty old piece of foriegn junk.

      just buy american, its better than you think
        jim
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jim
        A.sorry for spelling foreign wrong but it was intentional. b.i can spout off all i want, i don't read road and track and all those other mags that oooh n ahhhhh every foreign car made. but in the next breath say how bad every american brand is unless there comparing the three. C. there is enough proof with all the recalls for japan auto makers for proof. and while German car's are ok there quality ain't all that, I saw it everyday in the shop.
      • 4 Years Ago
      if they are going to make chrysler truly global, i don't see the point in keeping lancia alive...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess more France buyers want buy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure everybody in the UK is just devastated over this.
        jluce7devil1775
        • 4 Years Ago
        The fact they are crying about this, but it was OK for British Airways to use the image of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi to protest during their strike is hypocritical as hell. Damn British!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know you are saying this in a ironical way, but if for some weird reason there is a sad British at least they have the consolation of having Lancia in one way or another back in the country.
      • 4 Years Ago
      [nitpick]

      I understand it is the Queen's empire now, but then, was it not the King's empire?

      [/nitpick]

      Were Dodge products a big seller in the UK market, anyway? I can't imagine they had many vehicles that were competitive with the typical vehicle bought by the "typical" UK consumer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        True, I can't think of one Dodge that would do good in Europe
        • 4 Years Ago
        Regardless.. The ads alone are insulting to the British. And through the net, everyone over there would probably have said "F Them" and boycotted the product anyway once they saw the ads...

        When you're a global company, the worst thing to do is run ads poking at another region where you might sells cars. I think they've basically eliminated themselves from the British market for the next 10 to 20 years regardless of what they'd like to do... i.e the ads...

        And um, I drive a Charger........... doh
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh what, is Dodge really that surprised those picky Europeans aren't buying our crappy American cars?

        No really, those cars listed are pretty pathetic. We barely buy them ourselves.

        As for a Dodge that can sell in Europe, maybe the Viper? Ehhh, even that's a stretch. (Not because I think the Viper's bad, for the same reasons Mustangs and Corvettes are hard sells in Europe. Personally I love the old snake.)
        kingmambo
        • 4 Years Ago
        Right on the money Paul. The "Queen" thing poked me in the eye too. We won our freedom from King George III, aka "LOSER".
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