Dodge and SRT Want To Expand Hellcat Brand
Dodge didn’t expect the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to be as popular as they are. In fact, the demand was so high, Dodge just couldn’t keep up. All 2015 models have been spoken for, and all remaining orders that cannot be fulfilled have been canceled so production of 2016 models can begin. Not all of the cancellations are the fault of Dodge or Chrysler as a company, though – a few sketchy dealers unethically took orders after they hit their order cap for the muscle cars.
The good news is that, as of Monday, August 17, 2015, you can now reserve a 2016 Charger or Challenger Hellcat – with a deposit, of course. Dodge also thought ahead and changed up its ordering system as well. This time around, dealerships will not be able to order above their order cap. Moreover, to help accommodate such a high demand for both vehicles, Dodge has expanded its Hellcat testing capabilities — it will now be able to produce more the twice the number of Hellcat models than it did last year
With the success of the Hellcat models, Dodge is planning on bringing the SRT and Hellcat badges to other models in its lineup. Dodge hasn’t speculated on what models yet, but I suspect we’ll see the Hellcat come to the Durango, 2017 Dodge Ram and maybe even the Barracuda — if Dodge and SRT change their minds about axing the fish car. Despite the demand from customers to create a Viper Hellcat, Dodge has implied that it does not intend to do so. The Viper is a “perfect” track car, according to Dodge, and throwing the Hellcat engine into it would disrupt the 50/50 weight ratio that makes the Viper what it is. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase a Viper anytime soon, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and its extreme performance should more than satisfy you.
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Why it matters
All this is great for a company that has seen slumping sales recently. A 98 percent drop in sales for the 2013 Dodge Avenger and 45 percent drop for the Dodge Grand Caravan as left the company down 16 percent overall through the middle of 2015. The Avenger is now just a memory (I was glad to see it go,) and Dodge hopes Grand Caravan sales will increase now that they have finished retooling the line and have continued production. At the end of the day, the Hellcat models have worked wonders for Dodge. Merchandise sales are up, and even sales of base 2015 Dodge Challengers and 2015 Dodge Chargers have increased as well. The demand for the Hellcat models creates a clear message – We Americans love raw power and performance. Any red-blooded Yank who tells you he doesn’t want to drive a 707-horsepower sedan is either lying to you, under the control of his Prius-driving wife, or just plain loco.
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Source: Detroit News