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Old 08-24-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
XDCX
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Unhappy R.I.P. - The last Dodge Dakota was built today

According to a report in Edmund's Inside Line Chrysler built the last Dodge Dakota this afternoon ending a production run that started in 1987. Here's a link to their report - click here

In my opinion the Dodge Dakota is a classic case of what happens when an OEM loses focus and forgets what market a vehicle is supposed to be competing in. The Dakota grew too big, too expensive and too much like the full-size Ram to justify its existence. It's too bad because I think if Auburn Hills had stuck with the original mid-size truck concept they would continue to meet their sales objectives.

Back in 1994 the Dodge Dakota Sport with a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder/5-speed trans was an outstanding value and the vehicle even improved when the Jeep 2.5 liter was added in 1996. I know dealers who sold these trucks in volume - often to first time buyers who were just forming a relationship with Dodge.

The train jumped the track when Auburn Hills killed off the regular cab version of the Dakota and eliminated the 4 cylinder engine option.

R.I.P. Dodge Dakota -- Cause of Death: Mismanagement.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:03 PM   #2
SHACOS
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The Ford Ranger is also stopping production this year. I wonder who will follow? Does this mean the small pickup market is fading away?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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The Ford Ranger is also stopping production this year. I wonder who will follow? Does this mean the small pickup market is fading away?
Chrysler was going to offer a "Lifestyle Pickup" as a replacement to the Dakota but that appears to be on the back burner now. As I understand it the "Lifestyle Pickup" was going to be based on a front-wheel-drive platform - something similar to Honda's Ridgeline truck.

Frankly, based on the renderings I saw I'm happy to hear Chrysler's not moving forward with their "Lifestyle Pickup." I'd much rather see them develop a mini pickup like the old Ram 50 - maybe they could even use the Wrangler's frame and sheet metal as a starting point?
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
According to a report in Edmund's Inside Line Chrysler built the last Dodge Dakota this afternoon ending a production run that started in 1987. Here's a link to their report - click here

In my opinion the Dodge Dakota is a classic case of what happens when an OEM loses focus and forgets what market a vehicle is supposed to be competing in. The Dakota grew too big, too expensive and too much like the full-size Ram to justify its existence. It's too bad because I think if Auburn Hills had stuck with the original mid-size truck concept they would continue to meet their sales objectives.

Back in 1994 the Dodge Dakota Sport with a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder/5-speed trans was an outstanding value and the vehicle even improved when the Jeep 2.5 liter was added in 1996. I know dealers who sold these trucks in volume - often to first time buyers who were just forming a relationship with Dodge.

The train jumped the track when Auburn Hills killed off the regular cab version of the Dakota and eliminated the 4 cylinder engine option.

R.I.P. Dodge Dakota -- Cause of Death: Mismanagement.
We sold hundreds of those 2.5L 4 cylinders. Mostly to first time buyers and price conscious second vehicle buyers. Back then we had banner ads at the local high school and college for first time buyers. Now it's AARP ads.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
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We sold hundreds of those 2.5L 4 cylinders. Mostly to first time buyers and price conscious second vehicle buyers. Back then we had banner ads at the local high school and college for first time buyers. Now it's AARP ads.
That's exactly what I'm talking about.

The old Dakota Sport package back in 1994 - 1996 was perfect - the truck had good selection of colors, nice tire/wheel package, decent graphics and the pricing/incentives were ideal for selling to first-time buyers.

It's too bad Chrysler doesn't have a vehicle in their lineup today that fills this niche.
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