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A Look Back At The Real Vehicle The New Hornet Is Replacing - The Dodge Nitro:

A Look Back At The Real Vehicle The New Hornet Is Replacing – The Dodge Nitro:​

Dodge's C-SUV From The Late 2000s...​


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The compact or “C-SUV” segment has been one of the most competitive segments in the automotive industry over the past couple of decades. While competition in the segment is some of the toughest around the globe, different automakers look for different ways to attract customers to their offerings.

 
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justbekuz

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While the article is nice detailing the rise and fall of the Nitro, it was a victim of its own demise with design clues left over from the Caliber and FCA attempting to fill empty capacity at the Jeep Factory. with a Jeep 'want to be' To say the new Dodge CUV is a replacement for the Nitro is a bit far fletched. Lets hope the new CUV has a better life than the Dart, 200, Caliber, Nitro and Sebring!
 

bill burke

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When I think of all the vehicles canceled by Chrysler over the years that might have been revamped, retooled or just updated, it is sad. Sure, there were factors working against some, but a lack of finances, cost cutting and little marketing just sunk too many of these vehicles. My list. Eagle Talon, Chrysler Crossfire, Chrysler Pacifica SUV, Dodge Nitro, Chrysler Imperial, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Shaddow, Plymouth Sundance, the whole Plymouth brand. Just some of the cars prematurely canceled with poor management decisions and lost focus. What might have, could have,ought to have been. Sad indeed. Miss those DeSotos too.
 

Mopar392

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I remember back in 2010 I was looking into purchasing Nitro Detonator. But I couldn't get to like the interior or the engine.
I think if it was given a chance and some love, it could have succeeded.
 

bill burke

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While the article is nice detailing the rise and fall of the Nitro, it was a victim of its own demise with design clues left over from the Caliber and FCA attempting to fill empty capacity at the Jeep Factory. with a Jeep 'want to be' To say the new Dodge CUV is a replacement for the Nitro is a bit far fletched. Lets hope the new CUV has a better life than the Dart, 200, Caliber, Nitro and Sebring!
Yea, add the Dart to my list. Perhaps, of all the cars on my list, the Dart failure is hard to justify or excuse. To this day when I see one I think, WHY ? The Dart was really nice, the 200, on the other hand, a styling, sizing, functional disappointment, a potential home run. The 200 done right, the overall idea deserved another try. Those golden days of the LeBaron were just squandered on that 200 ugly duckling. The Hornet looks like a winner, done right.
 

HoggyN

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A Look Back At The Real Vehicle The New Hornet Is Replacing – The Dodge Nitro:​

Dodge's C-SUV From The Late 2000s...​


View attachment 5186

The compact or “C-SUV” segment has been one of the most competitive segments in the automotive industry over the past couple of decades. While competition in the segment is some of the toughest around the globe, different automakers look for different ways to attract customers to their offerings.

 

HoggyN

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We still have a Nitro. My wife loves it. If they made a new one, but for one small detail, I strongly suspect that she would be beating a path to the local Dodge dealer’s door. The Hornet leaves her cold. Boring styling. A far cry from the bold Mopar offerings from the 2000s.

Unfortunately, all the Dodge and Chrysler dealers departed the UK several years ago now, so how good or bad the Hornet is is an irrelevance. It’s impossible to buy one.
 

Mopar392

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We still have a Nitro. My wife loves it. If they made a new one, but for one small detail, I strongly suspect that she would be beating a path to the local Dodge dealer’s door. The Hornet leaves her cold. Boring styling. A far cry from the bold Mopar offerings from the 2000s.

Have you seen the final design of the Hornet to call it boring??
 

justbekuz

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Yea, add the Dart to my list. Perhaps, of all the cars on my list, the Dart failure is hard to justify or excuse. To this day when I see one I think, WHY ? The Dart was really nice, the 200, on the other hand, a styling, sizing, functional disappointment, a potential home run. The 200 done right, the overall idea deserved another try. Those golden days of the LeBaron were just squandered on that 200 ugly duckling. The Hornet looks like a winner, done right.
I completely agree with you, there was so much riding on the Dart but with it being underpowered and outplayed by the competition as well as Sergio publicly pulling the plug in mid cycle was pretty bad. The late 200 on the other hand was a weird exercise in sales forecasting and metrics. I believe it held the then future styling clues of the next 300 that we will never see. If one was to compare the Fusion against the 200, they would perfectly align from the front bumper to the B Pillar with almost the same dimensions even in overall length but due to the 200 roof design constraints ( and the 200 slightly narrower), it was positioned as an entry level Chrysler while the Fusion was a mid level entry. Sergio even commented in public about the roof constraints limiting it's sales potential and positioning before he publicly pulled the plug! I was chasized before in saying that Sergio devoted too much energy and revenue generated by the US Market to the then renewed FIAT introduction to America as well as throwing money at many European models when leaving the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep ink well dry for far too long! I can only hope that FCA & Company isn't late to the party with the new Grand Cherokees and Wagoners or the US economy falters again with the uncertainty of fuel prices and suppliy!
 

TripleT

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So again we have people off topic. Can we have a Thread for the nonsense... LIKE I AM CEO hear is what I think ...... if at this point your complaining about the fact the FCA saved billions by beating everyone else out the door of the mid-sized car market, then one has a profound lack of industry insight. The ENTIRE market imploded. This is NOT Allpar.
 

TripleT

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We still have a Nitro. My wife loves it. If they made a new one, but for one small detail, I strongly suspect that she would be beating a path to the local Dodge dealer’s door. The Hornet leaves her cold. Boring styling. A far cry from the bold Mopar offerings from the 2000s.

Unfortunately, all the Dodge and Chrysler dealers departed the UK several years ago now, so how good or bad the Hornet is is an irrelevance. It’s impossible to buy one.

Tonale will for sure be available in UK, it is the sister car.
 

UN4GTBL

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I actually preferred the look of the Nitro to the KK Liberty.

The Nitro had an interesting front grill/headlight design, and the typical dumbler interior quality. But I loved how boxy it was! The swoopy Hornet might replace the Nitro in footprint, but not in usability, IMHO.
 

TripleT

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Yeah but it New Dodge you know #1 in Appeal.... Needs to be sexy.... I am more concerned that is has a proper powertrain to fit the Newly Cultivated image. Love Jared but its a stretch comparison.

The badge engineer didn't really fit well, and was sort of disservice to the M80 Nitro, which to this day I think has legs as a RAM.

I see it more a replacement for the Dart as the market has evolved to tall hatches away from sedans. Again lets hope that powertrain is appropriate to where the brand, as the Dart never did.
 

TripleT

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The Nitro, along with it's Cherokee counterpart, employed a unitized body and not BOF. Underneath, they were very similar to the larger WK, also a unitize body structure, but narrower and shorter.

View attachment 5189
Sure that was a typo the UniBody SUV heritage of this model dates to XJ, KJ was intended to replace the ageless XJ but it carried on.... Everyone here has the by heart :D
 

Autojunkie

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Yeah but it New Dodge you know #1 in Appeal.... Needs to be sexy.... I am more concerned that is has a proper powertrain to fit the Newly Cultivated image. Love Jared but its a stretch comparison.

The badge engineer didn't really fit well, and was sort of disservice to the M80 Nitro, which to this day I think has legs as a RAM.

I see it more a replacement for the Dart as the market has evolved to tall hatches away from sedans. Again lets hope that powertrain is appropriate to where the brand, as the Dart never did.
The M80 was such a cool concept. Initial internal documentation had it being built along side the JK Wrangler and share the chassis. However, I think it was the quietly planned de-mergering of Chrysler from Daimler that killed this project. To this day, I'm amazed at which projects, like the Challenger, survived that mess. I probably would have put an M80 into my driveway had they actually made them. It was a cool concept.
 

TripleT

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Given Daimlers ability to fudge stuff up, I suppose it is mixed blessing they didn't build it. One the would have don't something cheap and false economic on it, and second it would have taken JK capacity.

I guess it was luck the LX and JK were so far along before Eaton's folly, just parts bin sharing at that point.
 

AlexB

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I completely agree with you, there was so much riding on the Dart but with it being underpowered and outplayed by the competition as well as Sergio publicly pulling the plug in mid cycle was pretty bad. The late 200 on the other hand was a weird exercise in sales forecasting and metrics. I believe it held the then future styling clues of the next 300 that we will never see. If one was to compare the Fusion against the 200, they would perfectly align from the front bumper to the B Pillar with almost the same dimensions even in overall length but due to the 200 roof design constraints ( and the 200 slightly narrower), it was positioned as an entry level Chrysler while the Fusion was a mid level entry. Sergio even commented in public about the roof constraints limiting it's sales potential and positioning before he publicly pulled the plug! I was chasized before in saying that Sergio devoted too much energy and revenue generated by the US Market to the then renewed FIAT introduction to America as well as throwing money at many European models when leaving the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep ink well dry for far too long! I can only hope that FCA & Company isn't late to the party with the new Grand Cherokees and Wagoners or the US economy falters again with the uncertainty of fuel prices and suppliy!
The same decision that Ford decided to make in 2017. Why the decision?
Because dropping those cars were great decisions by both FCA & Ford, but Sergio had the foresight to take the action early to pullout of a dying segment, but at the same time FCA needed to reclaim that capacity which made the action required.
FCA/Stellantis marketshare in North America has performed better than Ford since 200/Dart axing.
 

TripleT

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The same decision that Ford decided to make in 2017. Why the decision?
Because dropping those cars were a great decisions by both FCA & Ford, but Sergio had the foresight to take the action early to pullout of a dying segment, but at the same time FCA needed to reclaim that capacity which made the action required.
FCA/Stellantis marketshare in North America has performed better than Ford since 200/Dart axing.
And not go over it, over, and over. It was not just FCA and Ford, It was GM, and Toyota, and Honda. FCA was way ahead of the curve. Honda crashed Civics and Accord run as many as possible trying maximize plants and total cash flow. Toyota failed and Gtown manager got frogged marched out of the plant. All while panicking to convert the capacity to CUV. A reminder this wasn't volume thing. Dixie cups sell billions... it was a margin thing. The Mid-sized market margins turned negative across the industry.
 

MagnumSRT8

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My husband had a Sunburst Orange Nitro R/T for many years, and we both loved that thing. He really wanted an orange one (his favorite color), but there wasn't an orange R/T in San Diego. We test drove an orange SXT and it was awful. The 3.7/auto combination just felt gutless, and the interior was a mishmash of different tan colors. We hopped into a black R/T and drove that. It was night and day what the difference was with the 4.0/5spd auto combination did to that. It may not have been super quick by the numbers, but it sure felt quick. Like a little hot rod. We had a lot of adventures in that Nitro. It was a great little trucklet/SUV.

DodgeNitro-6880-L.jpg
 

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