Dodge will 'purify' brand, drop Grand Caravan

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DETROIT -- Dodge will get back to its roots, said Dodge brand chief Tim Kuniskis.

Dodge is about passion for performance and technology, he said during today's five-year plan presentations. Dodge drivers “are not looking for practical, sensible cars. That’s Chrysler’s territory.”

To “purify the brand,” Dodge dropped the Avenger this year. And in 2016, the Grand Caravan will be dropped.

The Charger will set the tone for Chrysler’s DNA, Kuniskis added. The Charger’s personality is extroverted, adventurous, aggressive and exciting, he said.

Dodge will add a subcompact hatch in early 2018 and will redo the Dart compact sedan in 2016. That same year, it will add a high performance SRT version of the Dart.

The Journey CUV will be re-engineered in 2016 and will add a high performance SRT version in early 2017.

Dodge’s existing lineup, including the SRT Viper, will all be refreshed by mid 2015, while the Challenger and Charger will be re-engineered in 2018.

Kuniskis said Dodge U.S. sales will fall 8 percent to 546,000 this year, 2014. They will grow slowly to reach 600,000 in 2018.

The automaker also announced today that Kuniskis will take over the SRT brand from design chief Ralph Gilles. The SRT brand will be a halo brand for Dodge.

You can reach Charles Child at cchild@crain.com.


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