In June, Cobb drove a Magnum RT to a local cruise in Hixson, Tenn.
"People were walking right past the muscle cars from the '60s to get to the Magnum," he says. "This got as much attention as any car there, even Z28 Camaros."
Cobb says the dealership has run out of Magnum brochures because young men in their late teens and early 20s have emptied the shelves.
The Power data say 77 percent of Magnum buyers are male. In the same period, 72 percent of all Dodge buyers were male.
The rear-wheel-drive Hemi-equipped Magnum RT carries a sticker of $29,995, including destination. Two all-wheel-drive models arrive this fall. The base awd Magnum SXT has a sticker of $27,900, including destination. The cheapest Magnum is the 2.7-liter V-6 equipped SE at $22,495, including destination.
A $1,000 discount is available if customers buy or lease through Chrysler Financial.
Dodge still is filling the Magnum pipeline. Dealerships should reach allocated inventory levels in 45 to 60 days, the Chrysler group's McCormick says. Dodge expects to build about 50 percent of Magnums with the Hemi engine, a percentage consistent with other Hemi-equipped vehicles, he says.
The Magnum is positioned as a utilitarian vehicle, McCormick says.
"Advertising is playing to its storage ability. It is a versatile vehicle able to haul a significant amount of cargo," he says. "That is why you are seeing trucks being traded in."
The Power data of early Magnum buyers show that 28 percent traded in an SUV; 19 percent traded pickups. Mid-sized cars ranked third at 18 percent.
Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet were the top three brands traded.
The top three nameplates traded in carried the Dodge name, a typical pattern. Owners loyal to a brand are first in the dealership door when a new model arrives in the showroom.
Power analyzed Magnum sales transaction data through July 11. The data are based on information supplied by 5,100 franchises in 26 markets.
Analyst Libby says Dodge still needs to capture sedan buyers.
"Given the size of the mid-sized car market, they should want to appeal to more of those owners," he says. That may happen when the Dodge Charger sedan based on the Magnum's rwd chassis arrives in 2005.