Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis attributes the rise to an easing of the microchip shortage as well as the sense of urgency the brand has created with its “Last Call” run of seven special editions that includes the 1,025-hp Challenger SRT Demon 170 launched in March.
Kuniskis said Dodge doesn’t sell cars that people need. Consumers, he said, buy its products because they want them.
On the surface, that sounds like an advantageous situation, but Kuniskis said this comes with a big challenge.
When people consider aspirational products they don’t truly need, their purchase timeline could extend for years. In the past, he said, customers might have said they’ll buy a Scat Pack “someday.”
Dodge sped up that process by emphasizing that these vehicles are on the way out.
“The Last Call did create a timeline,” Kuniskis told Automotive News. “Because all those people are thinking I’m going to get a muscle car someday — someday I’m going to get it. I’m going to get a Scat Pack, I want a Challenger someday. Someday, someday. Well, guess what? We just told them when ‘someday’ was because we said this is it.”
Dodge’s muscle cars aren’t the only Stellantis models seeing gains. A collection of vehicles either leaving the Stellantis lineup or out of production got a sales bump in the first quarter.