Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Catonsville, Md.
Magnum Release Info
Read this today in Automotive News :
Dodge will launch three versions of the 2005 Magnum simultaneously in a bid to avoid repeating the mistake of the Chrysler Pacifica introduction.
The Pacifica launch misfired when Chrysler placed only high-end models in dealerships.
"We will have all three price points on the showroom floor," says Darryl Jackson, Dodge marketing vice president.
The Magnum will be offered in SE, SXT and RT versions. The SXT will be the volume leader. The RT is powered by the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
Stickers, including destination charges, begin at $22,495 for the SE; $25,995 for the SXT; and $29,995 for the RT.
The company will not give volume targets.
The Magnum is based on the new rear-wheel-drive LX platform. The 2005 Chrysler 300 and 300C also ride on the chassis.
The automaker is working on how to resolve the marketing challenge presented by the Magnum and 300, says Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler group executive vice president of global sales and marketing.
The challenge: to retain current Chrysler group owners while capturing buyers from competing brands.
"We are still debating how to achieve this; to go after the existing customer base and also appeal to the conquest customer," Eberhardt says. "It is not easily done. You have to deliver two messages.
"For current owners the message is, 'We've had you as a customer for 20 years, and you have always had front-wheel-drive large cars. You now need to trust us that this is a better performance package and a better drivetrain solution for you," he says.
"With the conquest buyers, it is a very different message," Eberhardt says. "They are used to rear-wheel drive. We don't have to convince them that rear-wheel drive is the right answer. But we have to convince them that rear-wheel drive at Chrysler or Dodge is as good or better than their current vehicle at a better price. They are two distinct messages."
The company is targeting import sedan buyers, including Infiniti and Lexus owners, Eberhardt said. SUV owners also are in the conquest plans for the Magnum.
Sales of the 300 begin in April. The Magnum follows in May.