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Dodge Durango, SUV
Oct 18, 2003 (6:40 pm)
The Durango will be the best SUV for the dollar. The new Durango has a base price that is lower than the competion and $1,000 less than last year at $25,000. In addition, the Durango SLT 4x4, which accounts for 40% of sales, starts at $2,000 less than last year. I think that the Durango could rule the midsize and possibly fullsize segments.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
DaimlerChrysler sets Durango price below competitors
By Jeff Green / Bloomberg News
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DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler set the base price of the re-designed Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicle below that of U.S. competitors and less than the smaller model it replaces as the company tries to halt U.S. sales drops.
The 2004 Durango, which comes with a six-cylinder engine for the first time, will start at $26,565, less than the base price for Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer, General Motors Corp.'s TrailBlazer and Honda Motor Co.'s Pilot sport-utilities, according to Edmunds.com. The new Durango goes on sale next month. The most expensive Durango will sell for $41,710.
The new Durango is the first of 25 new products that Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche will introduce in the next three years to reverse five years of market-share losses. Chrysler, the third-largest U.S. automaker, lost $1.1 billion in the second quarter and cut its 2003 forecast to a "slight" profit from $2 billion. Sales fell 6 percent in 2003's first nine months.
Chrysler has dealer orders equal to the 30,000 Durangos that the company plans to produce this year, Joe Eberhardt, the unit's top sales and marketing executive, said in an interview.
The redesigned Durango, which Chrysler says has 15 percent more cargo room, a plusher interior and a more fuel-efficient engine, replaces a model that now needs as much as $4,500 in rebates to sell. Chrysler said it will offer a $500 mail-in rebate on the new Durango.
Chrysler is relying on Durango because other new vehicles haven't sold as well as expected. The Pacifica station wagon, introduced in March, is selling at an annual rate of 87,550, less than the 100,000 production capacity. Chrysler has cut the average price about 13 percent to $33,000 and spokesman James Kenyon said today that the company is offering $3,000 rebates and five-year no-interest loans on Pacifica.
The current Durango slipped to about 13 percent of the large sport-utility vehicle market this year from about 24 percent in 1999, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank.
The 2003 Durango ranges in price from $27,520 to $39,570 compared with a range of $26,930 to $37,795 for the Explorer, $27,545 to $36,195 for the TrailBlazer and $27,590 to $33,360 for the Pilot. Toyota Motor Co.p.'s Highlander SUV is less, ranging from $24,620 to $31.920, Edmunds.com said.
Chrysler's U.S. market share fell to 12.8 percent through September from 16.1 percent in 1998, the last time it had an annual market share gain. Chrysler has eliminated 30,000 jobs and closed seven plants since 2001 in an effort to return to profitability. The latest United Auto Workers union contract allows it to close two more plants, sell three and eliminate more jobs.
Some consumers complained that the old Durango was less reliable than competitors' models, and had a rougher ride and less comfortable interior than other, newer sport-utility models.
Oct 20, 2003 (10:44 am)
To durangobuilder - could you pls do all of us, former, and possibly future Dodge owners, a favor, and tell us, what DC is actually doing to improve quality of it's producs? We all read about the 125 inspection check, the new paint facility, etc. - but could you pls tell more about it from the point of daily routine you see? And, how from the standpoint of expected quality, the new Durango is better that the predecessor?
Oct 21, 2003 (10:04 am)
Is a navigation system available? Also, if you go to Dodge's website, look at the "versatility" tab. It looks like it has distance radar on the rear bumper. Can anyone confirm?
#88 of 98 04 Durango Full size?
Oct 21, 2003 (4:36 pm)
The specs of the new 04 Durango look great! The specs put the Durango on par with the Sequoia, Tahoe, Expedition, which appear to make the Durango a full size SUV. Is this correct? If so, the Durango could be the sleeper of the year, if the truck pans out.
Oct 22, 2003 (4:10 am)
It is already ordered in very large numbers by dealers, and considering how many RAM Magnums are roaming the roads, Durango will not be a sleeper. It will be good, if it sells for MSRP. Or could be like Pathfinder - I saw it with mark-up of US$ 7,500 on R22 in NJ. Hopefully DC will not let their dealers to act like that - I remember how these greedy creatures were selling PT Cruiser with 20G over MSRP - who cares for PT Cruiser now? And DC has to close now the factory building them. They will be better off building up the market share, otherwise, after recent losses, Pacifica/Crossfire flop, a very questionable RWD LX platform products in the pipeline - there is a chance that all plants might close. Mercedes-Benz already had an alliance with an American car company - Studenbekker - and they were the ones who turned off the last light in the factory. Weren't there any lessons learned?
Oct 22, 2003 (12:40 pm)
I'm sure the new Durango is a nice vehicle but boy does it look GOOFY! DCX has been famous for building vehicles that look just like the concept vehicle. The concept that the new Durango was based on was a fierce looking vehicle! This thing doesn't even come close. What happened?
Oct 22, 2003 (6:55 pm)
What happened - it is the German perception of what the things at Chrysler/Dodge should be - their "Weltbild"; - now say after me - K-r-e-i-s-l-e-r.
Oct 24, 2003 (5:17 am)
As of next week, Edmunds.com no longer considers this a "future" vehicle, so the discussion will be moving. Stay tuned!!
Oct 24, 2003 (9:17 am)
When it is going on sale?
Oct 24, 2003 (10:29 am)
I don't know the exact date, but we usually remove a vehicle from our Futures list once it starts hitting dealer lots. Our date for this vehicle is October 29, so hopefully that's when they'll be available.