I swore that I would not own another Dodge as well.
Looks like other people feel the same:
Dealers Balk as Chrysler
Strains to Cut Inventory
By NEAL E. BOUDETTE
October 16, 2006; Page A3
DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group is running into
resistance from some big dealers to its latest efforts to shrink its
bloated inventory of unsold vehicles, a development that could make it
harder for Chrysler to bounce back from an expected loss in the third
Since warning in September that it will report a loss of $1.5 billion
for the quarter -- more than twice what it had previously forecast --
Chrysler has temporarily halted production at several plants and
stepped up appeals to dealers to take more of the 50,000 or so
vehicles the company has in storage because they were built without
dealer orders. The dealers' reluctance to take more of Chrysler's new
vehicles raises questions about how soon Chrysler will be able to
recover from its third-quarter loss.
Chrysler chief Tom LaSorda and the company's top marketing executive,
Joe Eberhardt, meet today in Detroit with more than 100 dealers from
the Midwest, the first of eight annual regional meetings where they
will renew pleas to increase orders. Last week Chrysler added as much
as $1,500 in sales incentives for vehicles that have sat on dealer
lots for six months or more.
In an interview at the Paris auto show in September, Mr. Eberhardt
said Chrysler's "vision" is to reduce the sales bank of unassigned
vehicles to "normal levels" by the end of the year. "One thing is
clear. We built inventory that was just too high," he said.
But some of the big dealership chains and many smaller dealers around
the U.S. say they already have too many Chrysler vehicles and won't
"We are not ordering additional [Chrysler] inventory," said Earl
Hesterberg, chief executive of Group 1 Automotive Inc., a Houston
chain of 101 car dealerships. "I wish we hadn't bought as much as we
AutoNation Inc., the largest auto retailer in the U.S., with 333
stores, has also declined to take extra vehicles, a spokesman
said. The company is trying to reduce its inventory of Chrysler
vehicles and is ordering only select models that are selling well,
such as the new Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass.
Lithia Motors Inc., an Oregon dealership chain, took extra vehicles
earlier in the year to help Chrysler trim its inventory, but didn't do
so at the end of September, Chairman and Chief Executive Sid DeBoer
Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines yesterday acknowledged that the
dealers' stance "makes it tougher" to sell off the company's stockpile
"Some are doing it, some aren't," he said. "We're not forcing this on
The company has said it expects to fare better in the fourth quarter
with new models like a compact Jeep and a redesigned Chrysler Sebring
sedan. Many of the vehicles swelling inventories are Ram pickup
trucks, Jeep sport-utility vehicles and Dodge minivans, as Chrysler
and the other U.S. auto makers have seen demand fall for their most
profitable big models amid higher gasoline prices.
As of last month, Chrysler's inventory included just under 100,000
"unassigned" vehicles the company built without dealer orders in
hand. Mr. Vines declined to give a more current figure but said the
stock of unassigned vehicles is now "about half" of what it was in
mid-September, reiterating that Chrysler expects it to be "gone, zero"
by the end of the year.
Manufacturers try to avoid building vehicles without dealer orders
because they could have to sell such excess production at money-losing
prices, often to rental-car companies. At an average sticker price of
$25,000, the 100,000 unassigned vehicles in Chrysler's sales bank last
month would ordinarily generate about $2.5 billion in revenue.
Chrysler has said it plans to reduce its inventory of some 600,000
vehicles in stock to around 500,000, a goal that will be difficult to
hit without deeper production cuts if dealers are reluctant to order.
At an auto auction in Detroit last week, about 1,400 nearly new
Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles were on sale, many of which had
spent the past six months in rental fleets and had only 10,000 to
20,000 miles on them.
These vehicles were being sold to dealers for about half of the
invoice prices dealers pay for new models. One silver Jeep Grand
Cherokee Laredo previously owned by Dollar Rent A Car had 16,740 miles
on its odometer. A dealer would pay $31,128 for the car new, but this
one went for $16,300. Dealers said the car would probably sell for
about $23,000 at a dealership.
Sounds like conflicts of interest, some managers being paid for
production targets or some such...
I am quite sad about my Dodge RAM story. It was a good truck while it
was driveable, I was hoping to use it for another 10 years or
more... It still looked quite decent actually, after 8 years of use. I
did not abuse it in any way and changed all fluids etc on schedule.
OK, I will post an update in a few years. It feels good as of right
now, though, of course, so did the Dodge when I bought it, up to a
month ago when it went to hell.
I did not go with the diesel. I bought a 2500HD with a 6 liter V8 gas
engine, a heavy duty transmission, towing and snow plow prep
package. Crew cab (four doors that all open in the same direction),
regular bed. A little basic on the interior, but it has all I need.
No, it is a "heavy duty option" four speed transmission, a $1,000
upgrade over the stock transmission. The Allison is only available for
the 8.1 liter engine, which has shitty fuel economy and I do not need
that much engine. I just want everything -- engine, transfer case,
transmission, rear end etc -- to be very sturdy and honestly made.
Just an observation, from my experience, some folks do better with some
brands than others will.
I've never had good luck with Ford or GM products. It seemed for a while if
you wanted to find out the weakness in your Ford or Chevy, let me drive it
for an hour.
OTOH, my 19 Mopars never gave me a problem that I couldn't handle and most
lasted over 100,000 miles, with a couple exceptions: a 71 Charger I was
given as payment and I never even licensed and my 95 Lebaron GTC (Goofy
Transmission Crap), which is in limp mode again and giving error codes of 33
I think I'll go back to slant sixes and 904 transmissions . . . . . .
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