When the '04 Dodge Durango reaches showrooms in mid-November,Group intends to ride its coattails to an end-of-year sales surge.
“We're going to leverage the dickens out of Durango,” John H.O. Sloan, senior manager-car marketing, says of a vehicle he believes can be a showroom traffic driver.
Dodge sales are down, Sloan says, because it did not keep up withCorp. in incentives spending in September. “Because of this, we'll be very pleased to finish a little over last year,” he says.
Sloan is more confident about 2004, with a full year of Durango sales and the entry of the Dodge Magnum cross/utility vehicle in the first half of next year.
“The Magnum is pushing new territory, bringing back a level of performance people haven't experienced at this price,” he says.
Sloan declines to specify volume but says Magnum won't be a 100,000-unit seller.
Sloan forecasts that about 75% of Magnum sales will be split between the SE trim level (20%-25%) and SXT (50%-60%), both equipped with V-6 engines. He expects the top-of-the-line RT model with the 340-hp Hemi V-8 will account for roughly 20%-25% of sales.
“Not everybody is going to buy a Hemi, we understand that,” Sloan says, and price may play a role. Optional all-wheel-drive is expected to cost about $2,000 and be purchased by 15%-25% of buyers, but there's capacity to accommodate a 40% take rate.