Archive for the ‘dodge ram’ Category

Ready to rumble: 2009 Dodge Ram Hemi is more powerful and more fuel-efficient

Here is an excerpt from an article in the Detroit News regarding the upcoming 2009 Dodge Ram. It is encouraging to hear at a time when gas prices are rising and people are buying smaller vehicles.

Ram’s success is important
The redesigned pickup is Chrysler LLC’s bread and butter. Profitable trucks pay the bills at the struggling carmaker, and the company’s future rests on the Ram’s coil-spring suspension, overhauled interior and potential 20 percent increase in gas mileage from powertrain and design changes.

And there’s never a wrong time to introduce a great truck, said Stephanie Brinley, an industry analyst at AutoPacific Inc.
“Dodge can misstep on a midsize sedan and recover,” she said. “If they misstep on the Ram, they can’t.”

Dodge readily admits what everyone knows. The suburban truckers — those truck customers who have nothing to tow and only haul the kids to school — are quickly becoming extinct. People are opting for crossovers or cars.

But there are still many more people in the United States who need a truck. Pickups are their livelihood, as much as a hammer is to a carpenter’s.

“The segment is never going to go away,” said Tim Longnecker, the automotive industry executive at Acxiom, a marketing and research firm that analyzes consumer trends. But, he noted, “It’s not the best time to be coming out with a flagship vehicle.”

A recent study by Acxiom shows that the silver lining in the storm cloud hovering over Detroit is this: pickup owners remain exceptionally loyal to their brand.

“These consumers come to the purchase decision with brand loyalty first,” Longnecker said.
Accavitti said Dodge breaks down customers into five categories, ranging from strictly work truck owners to the equivalent of truck poseurs. The poseurs can’t afford the fill-ups, but others can’t afford to not to have a truck.

“The truck segment is still huge,” he said. “We’re very bullish on it.”