DETROIT - The 2007 Dodge Caliber will be profitable despite a sticker price of less than $14,000, according to Judith Wheeler, director of Dodge car marketing.
The Caliber has a base sticker of $13,985, including shipping. That's $410 below the price of the outgoing Dodge Neon, Dodge says.
The new hatchback offers new four-cylinder engines, standard side airbags and optional all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transaxle, Dodge says.
Selling the Caliber in global markets and developing derivatives from the vehicle platform creates a profitable business case, Wheeler said last week at the Detroit auto show.
"It is a world vehicle, and you are talking global volume. We will be bringing other vehicles off the same platform, so we have economies of scale," she said.
Target buyers are 25- to 35-year-olds, Wheeler said. Half will be women, a less-than-typical percentage for the segment.
"With the Dodge brand and the (Caliber's) bold stance, we tend to be more appealing to men," Wheeler said.
The Caliber hatchback is available in SE, SXT and R/T models.
The base engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder generating 148 hp.
Interior features include illuminated cupholders, a cooled storage bin for four 20-ounce bottles, a sliding center console to accommodate short drivers, a pocket for storing a cell phone or MP3 player and a rear vinyl load floor. Optional flip-down audio speakers mounted on the rear liftgate allow music to be directed outside the vehicle when the liftgate is open.
Dodge began taking dealer orders this week. Wheeler says vehicles will reach showrooms in the first quarter.