CHRYSLER IS DETERMINING HOW MANY models will feature the badge of its performance-oriented SRT brand.
The '12 lineup features four SRT8 models, as the Dodge Charger,300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee join the Dodge Challenger, which bowed as an SRT in '11.
The brand has offered 10 models over the years, ranging from the Dodge SRT4, based on the Dodge Neon compact car, to the Dodge Ram SRT10, touted by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet's fastest production pickup.
SRT President and CEO Ralph Gilles tells Ward's he is huddling withCEO Sergio Marchionne to define a cap that will establish the brand's exclusivity and help its customers preserve the value of their vehicles. “We're debating the final, final number,” he says, adding there are no capacity constraints.
All vehicle segments appear to be under consideration. Asked if an SRT version of the Dodge Durango fullsize SUV is off the table, Gilles says: “I'll never say that.”
Re-launched in 2010 after a 2-year absence from the market, the all-new Durango is providing Chrysler with a key incremental boost. In June, the auto maker passedin the U.S. monthly sales race for the first time in more than five years.
To drive sales of the SRT brand, Chrysler is launching a 40-stop, 20-state road show culminating in November at the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. show in Las Vegas.
SRT customers are inclined to accessorize. Buyers of the Challenger SRT8 spend an average of $800 to $1,000 to personalize their cars, Gilles says.