Last post on Apr 11, 2008 at 12:39 PM
You are in the Dodge/Plymouth Neon
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caliber, Dodge Neon, Dodge Neon SRT-4, Sedan
Apr 21, 2006 (6:34 pm)
While the Neon was the top selling vehicle in Dodge's fleet, Daimler Chysler was not making a big profit from it. Selling 120,000 units a year might be good for a car in a different category where the financial margins are different (e.g. luxury sedan, sports coupe, etc.), but subcompacts for the Chrysler group needed to be sold in higher volumes. This is one of the reasons why the Caliber is being emphasized as a "world car" - as the Neon was not embraced by the European market.
#7 of 25 So Basicly...
Apr 24, 2006 (1:14 pm)
The Neon was dropped due to sales in the US slumping and they engineered a car that would sell better overseas. That makes sense. GM actually posted gains in profit last year due to high sales in Europe and China so I now Can understand why Dodge dropped th Neon in favor of a car that will sale better over seas. Also, that is what world car meant, I didnt know what the World car and world engine meant.
#8 of 25 Re: Still though... [79customd]
Apr 24, 2006 (1:37 pm)
One other reason I've heard and read about the Neon elimination besides the lower sales numbers was the problem with no other vehicle in the DCX stable, including the PT Cruiser, could be built in the Belvidere facility. The paint shop was supposedly too low for anything else but a Neon and the lines were set up just for the Neon as it relates to width and height dimensions. The Neon as we all know sat very low to the ground, considerably lower than almost everything Chrysler Group builds. After the facility was refurbished, DCX claims that they could now build about six vehicles on the same line without changes. Sounds like Smart Manufacturing to me.
#9 of 25 Re: Still though... [mek0123]
Apr 24, 2006 (2:11 pm)
So now the Caliber and the PT Cruiser can be painted at the same factrory now. That is it? Thats the reason DCX dropped the Neon to go with a car that bears no resemblance to the Neon or any other vehichle that DCX makes( including the PT Cruiser ) Just so they could paint more vehichles at one plant. Sounds like Smart planning to lose money to me. The Caliber will enjoy 1 possibly 2 years of buyers who like that new car feal but then once the Claiber is OLD in the auto world the true mechanics are gonna make or break your car sales. I have news for you. True the Neon had known problems such as head gasket problems but the Caliber is all new! Its unknown what there is to look out for from buying one of these things. There could be problems on this thing such as tranny failure at 50k miles or coils breaking down at 25k miles. With the Neon and the proven 122 cubic inch powertrain you knew what problems to look out for due to experiense, Its buyers Beware 101 for the first few years( wait a minute. Dodge cant afford for the majority of buyers to wait a few years b/c the Neon is toast so it sounds as though an attempt to lose money to me, know what I mean? )
Dodge could have just as easy incorperated the Neons underbody into a bigger higher platform and done just fine. My guess DCX is in Financial straights and needs a way to lose money to save on taxes. Dropping a good saling car completely and offering something TOTALLY NEW!! Is a good way to break your own back. I like the idea of Dodge redoing the vehichle to appeal to appeal to Europe but does Dodge really expect to go in to Europe with a totally new desighn and expect to blow out GM, Yugo, and those other half car makers. I hope not. Dodge just wants to sale enough cars to stay a float and to save money on tax break by losing sales with the Caliber. Simple as that
#10 of 25 Re: Still though..
Apr 27, 2006 (9:09 am)
I don't see the logic in abandoning an established name that's selling well in the market place. You revamp and refresh the platform, but you've already got the name recognition. How long have the civic, corolla and sentra been around? Its a good selling name that you can repackage under a different label overseas if need be, but it doesn't make sense to dump the knowledge.
The caliber is starting from scratch. How many folks have been taught to never ever buy the first model year if its not based on something with a proven track record?
#11 of 25 Re: Still though.. [sfitz3]
Apr 27, 2006 (4:06 pm)
The Neon was not selling well enough... that's the way it is. If the car was making a significant profit, DCX would not have abandoned it. Econocars need to be sold in high volumes. The reason why the Neon didn't sell well is a topic for another discussion (I partially blame DCX for that). To DCX's credit, they cut back production for the last two years anticipating the slump in sales, thus subverting a serious profit loss (this may have been one of the reasons why Daimler Chrysler remained profitable in 05'). As far as the name is concerned, the Neon undeservedly became the butt of Saturday Night Live jokes and equated as the modern version of the Ford Fiesta. Switching to the new platform (which the PT Cruiser will ride on next year) is risky, but it may prove to be more reliable in the long run.
#12 of 25 Re: Still though.. [whiskerrat]
Apr 28, 2006 (3:38 am)
"If the car was making a significant profit, DCX would not have abandoned it."
DCX has not making money on the Neon and couldn't design a competitive replacement when Civics and Corollas sell 300k+ per year.
Despite many satisfied Neon owners, Neon had a bad reputation in the market.
#13 of 25 Re: Still though.. [sfitz3]
Apr 30, 2006 (8:59 am)
I think the logic is that the Neon does not fit into the new Dodge image.
All new Dodges have brute in your face styling. The Neos is "cute".
Honestly, I cannot figure out why the passing of the Neon would bother anyone.
Apr 30, 2006 (10:09 am)
I think its simple . Replace a car selling 120k units a year with a platform that will be in 3 cars by 2007 model year .
You have the caliber out now . In the summer you will have the jeep compass and in fall you will have the jeep patriot .
You have 3 vehicals using the same platform which means you can produce alot of this platform driving costs down on it. I'm sure once production on all 3 start rolling along the caliber , compass and patriot will be cheaper to produce than the neon . Even if they only sell a 100k each. That is 300k on the platform. Not a 120k on it. I highly doubt they will only sell that many . Aside from mpg diffrences they are all competive with the other cars in thier price range , some like the patriot will be more competive than other vehicals in that bracket
#15 of 25 Re: Still though.. [ffcracker]
Apr 30, 2006 (5:44 pm)
I think what has upset many Neon owners is the fact that the car was replaced by a totally different vehicle. It's very similar to how Camaro owners felt when the SSR truck arrived to replace a muscle car. After a long line of econocars from the K-car to the Dodge Spirit and finally the Neon, it seemed the Dodge was getting better with each iteration of its compact cars. Now that it is replaced by a mini SUV, Neon owners feel abandoned. On the flip side of the coin, Daimler Chrysler seeing that the market is being saturated with many affordable, high quality small cars decided to offer something that would stand out in its price range. It may be a mistake. It may not. Some people are upset. Some are delighted. That is the nature of risk. It will be a matter of a few years before we find out if DCX made the right decision.