A recent editorial piece in Automotive News suggests Dodge, which has vowed to become Fiat-Chrysler Automobile’s performance arm, could be set up nicely to fill the niche left by General Motors’ Pontiac brand. The article says FCA is building a lineup that is a “natural home” for displaced GM customers looking to replace their Hummers and Pontiacs.
With the death of Hummer, GM no longer had an off-road focused brand for its customers. These former Hummer owners may feel comfortable at Jeep, AN says, a brand which offers a good alternative to the H2 and H3 in its Wrangler models. Similarly, Dodge is touting itself as “the American performance brand,” and will pump out more offerings similar to its Challenger and Charger Hellcat models in the future, potentially luring in old Pontiac buyers.
“The Dodge brand is open to any buyer who is looking for performance,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis told AN when asked if they are seeking out old Pontiac buyers. “Every Dodge vehicle is designed to deliver that visceral feel that reminds buyers why they fell in love with driving in the first place, and we’re open to any buyer who is looking for that feeling, regardless of the brand they’ve previously driven.”
Dodge says it will have seven new performance nameplates by 2018, which should win them some more enthusiast type buyers. GM hasn’t shied away from offering performance models either, and may be winning over performance-minded Pontiac shoppers with its Chevrolet SS and Camaro.
Even amidst strong competition, GM isn’t letting its Pontiac customers go easy. Company spokeswoman Ryndee Carney told AN the automaker consistently communicates with Pontiac owners, alerting them of new models and offering brand loyalty incentives.