And then there were three: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep to end brand engineering?

Among what must be many options on the table, Chrysler, LLC is looking at strictly defining the three brands in its care, and shedding 1,000 dealers in the process. The idea would be to eliminate the practice of selling a Chrysler model as a Dodge model as well. Chrysler would sell passenger cars, Dodge would sell pickup and commercial trucks, and Jeep would sell, well, Jeeps and SUV's.
From where we sit, it's not a bad idea, though it would give Chrysler a bunch of cars (and minivans) and leave Dodge rather few (Dakota, Ram, Sprinter vans?). That kind of rationalization, however, could allow Chrysler, LLC to additionally refine its dealer network and trim down inventory and, by extension, incentives. A decision could come by the end of the year.

Another big question would be the shift it would take for consumers to join the party. Would a Jeep buyer really go for a Chrysler Charger, or a Jeep Aspen? And would a Viper by any other name -- i.e., Chrysler -- smell as sweet?

Thanks for the tip, Tom!

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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