Is Dodge On Its Way Out in China?

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Dodge has always been the poor brother to Chrysler in the Chinese market which puts it in an extremely poor standing right now considering that Chrysler sells just two models in China (the 300C and the Town and Country) whilst Dodge sells just the JCUV.

At its peak in the Chinese market Dodge sold the JCUV (Journey), Avenger and the Dodge Caravan, the latter being made by SouEast Motors under license. What has changed? Chrysler fell under Fiat control and certain models were canned for the Chinese market, the JCUV’s 2.7L V6 has been removed in favor of a smaller 2.4L four cylinder (which is selling quite well), the Avenger has been removed from the market as an imported vehicle it was woefully uncompetitive against locally made Toyota Camry and Honda Accord models and the Caravan has quietly gone out of production thanks to a lack of demand. Which leaves the JCUV as the sole product in the Dodge China line up.

Even at the Shanghai Auto Show in April this year Dodge was not present on the large Chrylser-Jeep stand, Jeep is the star of Fiat Chrysler’s China line up with a seeming never ending list of consumers that want a taste of American AWD success, but there is not much love for Chrysler’s Made in Detroit tagline and even less love for Dodge. On the media day Dodge was no-where to be found.

Dodge Site 1024x660 Is Dodge On Its Way Out in China?

Dodge’s Chinese website now just displays a single model, a link to Dodge’s Global Site gives Chinese consumer a taste of what could potentially come to China but thankfully the gray market is supplying Chinese consumers with Challengers, Chargers and RAM trucks, albeit at a healthy mark up.

So what could Dodge do to keep itself relevant in China? Dodge has always been seen as a sporting brand, perhaps Dodge could cash in on this by pushing the Dart into production in China, after all its sister car the Fiat Viaggio is built and sold in China. Ford also offer their Ford Explorer in the Chinese market, it’s not cheap but it is selling slowly but surely, Dodge could perhaps offer the Durango in a smaller V6 or the Grand Caravan as an alternative to established market leaders.

About the author  ⁄ FrankF

Frank entered the automotive industry via his father's instructions. He grew up with cars around him, especially as his father was a major auto restorer, Frank's childhood was spent passing beers, tools and coffee to his father whilst he explained the ins and outs of engines. Frank now works in the Chinese car industry at a specific manufacturer.

6 Comments

  • Martin
    July 25, 2013

    I would say that Dodge is in a similar position in the USA. There doesn’t seem to be much love for Dodge, especially as RAM has been spun off on its own.

  • Bob
    July 25, 2013

    Martin: I believe the opposite, Dodge is probably the stronger brand after Jeep in the Chrysler line up.

    Plus the recent talk of Alfa going RWD potentially means that there will be a greater integration between Dodge-Alfa.

  • dragin
    July 26, 2013

    Early on Chrysler was worried about the copying of its van technology, but in the 1990s it allowed Dodge Caravan CKDs to enter southern ports of China to be assembled by now defunct Sanxing Auto.
    Later, in 2007, Chery approached Chrysler about buying the Dodge brand, but those talks got no where.

  • santos palisander
    July 26, 2013

    As Bob posted, Dodge is a very important brand for Chrysler in North America, but it doesn’t figure in Fiat/Chrysler’s export plans. In China, the Journey will probably become the Fiat Freemont, as it’s sold in Europe & South America, and I expect to see the Dodge brand retired in favor of the Alfa Romeo brand, as that fits their current global strategy. Fiat/Alfa/Jeep will still give them a broad range of vehicles to offer the Chinese market.

  • Bob
    July 26, 2013

    I believe the Freemont will eventually be produced in China, which leaves Dodge with utterly nothing in China.

  • Matthew
    July 26, 2013

    This is a shame to hear, Dodge always had so much potential. It is strange to see that much of Dodge’s product range is offered in other East and South East Asian countries, I wonder why not China?

    You can get Chargers etc in Manilla:
    http://www.dodge.com.ph/

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