Dodge is an American brand of hatchbacks, sports cars, sedans, minivans and SUV’s owned by Chrysler Group LLC headquartered in Michigan. The company started off by making spare parts and assemble units for automobiles and in the year 1915 started to make their own vehicles.
Right from the time of inception Dodge vehicles are known for their performance and durability. Some of their popular models are Charger, Challenger, Viper, Durango etc. More than being just a name the company Dodge has the strong association with the American sentiments and has always been an integral part of the history of automobiles in the country.
The company which is synonymous with its brand icon the ram is known for its powerful vehicles which the animal is a symbol of. Fiat has taken over Chrysler now and ever since then their primary focus has been on Dodge in the American market and there are huge attempts for rebranding the vehicle chain.
Strengths in The SWOT analysis of Dodge
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of Dodge:
- Dodge Ram Trucks: One of the biggest successes of not just Dodge but of trucks as such os the Dodge Ram. The vehicle has always been consistent in its positioning of a power-packed all-terrain vehicle, but each version also has something new to offer which is what has made it a flagship product of Dodge.
- High brand visibility: Dodge vehicles have always been synonymous with the American culture and wherever trucks came into the picture the name Dodge has a strong association. Dodge has also focused on building a brand by focusing on lifestyle and attitudes than demographics.
- Positioning: One of the primary reasons for the success of Dodge vehicles is the clear positioning they have in the minds of the target audience. Dodge has always been positioned as a performance vehicle and has also got a strong association with youthfulness and vigor. With high horsepower engines and superior transmission, the vehicles actually keep up to their positioning.
- Integrated distribution channel: After Fiat took over Chrysler the company decided to integrate its distribution channel for trucks with that of Jeep in China, Brazil and certain other regions in Latin America. This has increased the geographic reach of Dodge trucks and minivans and also improved the after-sales service quality.
Weaknesses in The SWOT analysis of Dodge
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of Dodge are:
- Poor market leadership: The brand Dodge was a roaring success in the American market during the early years of its inception.But eventually the brand lost its appeal and today it struggles to retain its presence in the market and does not have leadership in even one of its offerings.
- Engine problems: Dodge vehicles have faced a lot of criticism for the numerous engine issues. Yet another problem is with the valve seats which when pressed into the cylinder heads are dropping and leading to major failures. The vehicles have also been facing engine heating issues.
- Focus on bigger cars: Dodge has always been synonymous with the Ram or bigger vehicles with the result that their cars segment have been largely ignored. The current years has seen an increase in demand for smaller cars globally and this can mean that Dodge will suffer.
- Issues in after sales service: Dodge has also been at the brunt of criticism for the poor after sales service. There is also a problem in the availability of spares not just in the US but also in other regions where it operates.
Opportunities in The SWOT analysis of Dodge
- High growth potential: The market for minivans and trucks are growing in the US and in the year 2016 the CAGR was 8 % for this segment in comparison to the 6 % for cars. The trend which is promising for trucks and minivans will also benefit from the Fiat association of Dodge since the brand will get more visibility from the tie-up.
- Changing Customer Needs: The customer needs are focused more towards driving safety and vehicle size especially in the case of families and this is expected to create a surge in the demand for bigger vehicles.
Threats in The SWOT analysis of Dodge
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Competition: Currently Fiat owns most of the competitors of Dodge and thus the major competition will be from internal brands like Jeep or Chrysler Pacifica. The other significant competitors will be Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.
- High cost of production: The increasing fuel costs, the growing cost of raw materials and the investment in research will all result in increasing the costs of the vehicles.