October 22, 2007,
Auburn Hills, Mich.
Maintaining its commercial vehicle onslaught while conquering new territory and setting new commercial standards, Dodge continues to extend its bold, Ram-tough leadership and heritage into the commercial vehicle market.
Led by three exceptionally powerful, capable and durable work trucks, the 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs – which will compete in the Class 3-5 medium-duty segments – the brand’s commercial program is anchored by the 2008 Dodge Sprinter, the market’s top-performing full-size van, and the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van.
“The commercial vehicle market is white space for the Dodge brand,” said Mike Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand SRT Marketing and Communications, Chrysler LLC. “We continue to fill this space with bold, powerful and capable commercial-grade vehicles.”
U.S. Commercial Vehicle Market
The overall U.S. commercial vehicle market is defined as all vehicles sold to businesses, organizations and individuals who use their vehicle primarily for business purposes.Two subsets further define the market -- dealer commercial sales of one to 49 units and fleet sales of 50 or more vehicles.
Last year, overall commercial vehicle sales increased 30 percent. Of the16.2 million vehicles sold last year, 5.3 million (33 percent) were commercial vehicles. Within the dealer commercial subset, three million new vehicles were purchased with 18 percent comprising commercial vehicle sales. Dealer commercial sales also account for 34 percent of all pickup and chassis sales, and represent 78 percent of full-size van sales.
“Dealer commercial sales represent a critical segment in our industry given that nearly one out of every five new vehicles sold in the U.S. is a commercial vehicle,” added Accavitti.
Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab increases retail share
In the marketplace less than a year, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab bolted to the forefront and captured the number-one ranking in U.S. retail registrations and market share from the perennial leader, the Ford F-350, in the Class 3 conventional chassis cab market.
In August 2007, this leadership position was strengthened as the Ram 3500 Chassis Cab increased its monthly U.S. retail registrations, putting it even further ahead of the Ford F-350 Chassis Cab. Registrations for the Dodge truck totaled 1,037 compared with the Ford truck, which had 984 registrations. The Dodge Ram Chassis Cab also posted a 33 percent market share versus the Ford truck’s 31 percent.
In addition, in April of this year, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab’s sales and market share surpassed the Chevy Silverado Chassis Cab, the perennial runner-up to the Ford big rig.
Dodge Ram Leadership Extends to Class 5 Commercial Trucks
With the introduction of the all-new 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs earlier this year, Dodge’s Ram-tough heritage and legacy extends to the Class 5 medium-duty segment.
Delivering maximum up-time while showcasing dominant commercial capability, durability and dependability, the 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs feature numerous class-leading attributes and are the ultimate chassis cabs for commercial customers looking for dynamic, capable work trucks.
“With the addition of these two all-new work trucks, Dodge offers a full line of Class 2-5 commercial trucks,” said Accavitti. “This solidifies our commercial strategy while offering our customers one-stop shopping for both their passenger vehicle and commercial transport needs.”
The Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs compete in the Class 4 and 5 segments with a gross vehicle weight range of 14,000 to 19,500 lbs. Forecasting continued growth, total Class 4-5 vehicles sales were 100,000 units in 2006.
Targeted at small-business tradesmen, fleet customers and traditional chassis cab users, the new Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs round out Dodge’s commercial vehicle lineup.
U.S. Is Second-Largest Market for Sprinter
With its 2003 introduction, Dodge Sprinter marked the return of the Dodge brand to the commercial vehicle market. Domestic sales in the U.S. have increased tenfold to 21,961 units in 2006, and the United States now ranks as the world’s second-largest market for Sprinter vans.
Since 2005, Dodge Sprinter sales have exceeded target projections every month with an overall increase of 9 percent in 2006 versus 2005. For Canada, 2006 sales increased 27 percent from 2005.
The all-new Dodge Sprinter offers the segment’s most best-in-class advantages, world-class quality, innovations, design and performance, comfort and safety, and builds on Dodge’s rich commercial heritage, successfully bolstering the company’s position as a competitive player in the commercial vehicle market.
Dodge Sprinter competes in the 2500 and 3500 series large van segments along with Class 3 low-cab-over-engine (LCOE) trucks. Sprinter’s addressable market is identified by 50 percent of all 2500 series vans and 100 percent of all 3500 series vans and Class 3 LCOE trucks. The Sprinter dominates the Class B segment in the recreational vehicle market.
Firmly established in the Class 2-3 commercial van market, the 2008 Dodge Sprinter will appeal to a range of customers in traditional vocations including construction, plumbing, carpentry, flooring, painting, roofing, electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, as well as a host of niche markets including dry cleaning; contractors and landscaping; delivery operators; and passenger transport. Dodge Sprinter has quickly become a preferred vehicle of choice embraced by the market’s major courier companies, including FedEx, UPS and DHL.
Dodge Continues Commitment to Commercial Minivan Market
Dodge Grand Caravan cargo vans are a viable alternative to full-size vans and are an ideal transportation option for small business and commercial needs, providing superior space and durability to handle the most demanding jobs while continuing Dodge’s commitment to the commercial minivan market.
Showcasing an all-new exterior and interior design, the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van is a “garageable” solution that provides an optimum balance of utility and visibility. Designed for commercial use, Dodge Grand Caravan cargo vans provide a spacious yet compact interior, along with a commercial suspension for heavier cargo without sacrificing ride quality.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van is designed to meet specialized small business and commercial customer needs, while offering exceptional occupant protection to ensure a safe and secure driving experience. In addition to outstanding interior space, dual power-sliding doors and convenient rear-hatch access provide ease of loading and unloading. Rear seats are not included to provide ultimate storage capacity. For increased protection, a thick, protective rubber floor mat covers the cargo area.
Powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 flex-fuel engine with a four-speed automatic transmission delivering 175 horsepower and 205 lb.-ft. of torque, a heavy-duty commercial-tuned front and rear suspension allows for heavier cargo and added capability without sacrificing ride quality.
Covering a broad spectrum of demographics, the typical customer includes entrepreneurial small-business customers including florists, caterers and others requiring more space and durability. Customers also include small fleet customers (10 to 49 vehicles), as well as service and delivery vocations including the postal service and package/parcel operators.
Dodge Commercial Vehicles
Dodge continues to increase the breadth of its commercial products and offers a comprehensive array of vehicles and services designed with business customers in mind. Since its return to the commercial market in 2003, Dodge has introduced six all-new commercial vehicles. Along with the Dodge Ram 2500/3500 Box-Off models and the Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs -- the Class 3-5 segments’ most powerful, capable and upfit-friendly work trucks – the Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van complements a growing Dodge commercial lineup that includes the class-leading Dodge Sprinter. Dodge also maintains a collaborative partnership with Daimler AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles.
Launched in 1999 and offering no-cost enrollment, Dodge BusinessLink is a full-service commercial program comprised of a select network of Dodge dealers who know and understand the unique vehicle needs of small businesses, fleet managers and other commercial vehicle customers. Providing exclusive benefits, BusinessLink dealers offer unprecedented business assistance including dedicated commercial account managers and sales teams, dealer inventories representing a higher mix of work-truck and other commercial vehicles, next-bay service and technicians, extended hours to minimize downtime, free loaner vehicles and more. BusinessLink also includes Dodge’s “On The Job” program which offers discounts on upfits and direct cash incentives and savings on almost all Dodge commercial vehicles.
With a U.S. market share of 6.5 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC’s best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market with a 20 percent market share in the U.S. In the truck market, Dodge has a 15 percent market share. Last year, Dodge entered key European volume segments with Nitro and Caliber. Dodge Avenger made its European debut this year. The all-new 2009 Dodge Journey will be sold in global volume markets outside North America in both left-hand and right-hand drive in mid-2008.