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SRT a brand or a trim level?

Discussion in 'Generation V Discussions / SRT Coupe, GTS, GTC, AC' started by PeerBlock, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. PeerBlock

    PeerBlock Enthusiast

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    If you go to drivesrt.com you have the SRT Viper, suggesting that SRT is its own brand.

    Then you have...

    The Grand Cherokee SRT which still has JEEP badging on it, Jeep being its brand.

    The Chrysler 300 SRT, with the Chrysler badging on it...

    The Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT, both with Dodge badges on it.

    So aside from the Viper, SRT is basically a trim level for Chrysler's other vehicles and the Gen 5 is a Dodge Viper that has been de-badged.

    This confusing middle-of-the-road messaging can't be helping the Viper and other SRT vehicles.
     
  2. Free2go

    Free2go Enthusiast

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    That is very interesting.
     
  3. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    Honestly I really don't think it makes any difference. 99% of the population that recognizes the Viper thinks of it as a Dodge or just a Viper. Numerous people who recognize the car aren't sure who makes it. For most not in the "know" what ever that means, it's still something special and individual. The car stands on it's own, the rest are there hoping to garner some of that Viper imagery. Not saying the other cars aren't note worthy, they just aren't anywhere even close.
     
  4. swexlin

    swexlin Viper Owner

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    This is what I have been saying as well. You are 100 percent correct. I own a DODGE Charger SRT8, and a 2003 DODGE Viper SRT10 . It is confusing. Just like RAM trucks, not Dodge anymore
     
  5. Allan

    Allan Enthusiast

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    maybe they have some kind of tax advantage or loophole by splitting up the company into multiple divisions or entities.



    :dunno:

    some of the smaller divisions show a big loss to counterbalance the profit side of the big picture. :rolleyes:
     
  6. redtanrt10

    redtanrt10 Enthusiast

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    Their trying to establish their own brand just like AMG with Mercedes or M with BMW. Takes time and money to get brand recognition by consumers.
     
  7. ViperSmith

    ViperSmith Enthusiast

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    I think it is more along the lines of AMG

    You have many AMG tuned Mercedes cars

    But you can't buy a base SLS, it is only an AMG.
     
  8. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    What a difference it would make if SRT had AMG's budget. Squeezing a quarter out of a nickel is not easy.
     
  9. ViperSmith

    ViperSmith Enthusiast

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    Gotta give SRT credit, they have done more with less for awhile and have had fantastic results.
     
  10. tbsviper

    tbsviper Enthusiast

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    Interesting post, I still view it as a dodge viper. Add in Acr, track attack, etc non viper folks would be confused. Perhaps Srt branding should go with Acr, etc. I have no confusion about "R" in Jag; "M" in BMW or "AMG" with Mercedes. Many other threads post along these lines saying Dodge has not differentiated SRT and that could go to both time and budget as Bob points out above.
     
  11. PeerBlock

    PeerBlock Enthusiast

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    I think that may have been the original idea, but if you look at both BMW M and Mercedes AMG, they don't just take a "regular" car and slap the M or AMG badging after it, they actually give the cars their own model designation.

    For example, you can buy a Mercedes C250 but there is no C250 AMG - what you get is the C63 AMG and there is no such thing as a non-AMG C63. With BMW you can buy a 535 or the M5, there is no M535 and there is no standalone non-M 5.

    As for the SLS AMG, it's still a Mercedes SLS AMG even though there is no non-AMG version. It has the mercedes logo displayed prominently on the car itself.

    In both cases neither AMG or M are pushed as their own brand separate from the underlying maker, it's still Mercedes C63 AMG and BMW M5. I just think that for SRT, it would be helpful if they made it more clear how they want to present the vehicles with the SRT badge - either a brand or a trim level. Right now it's really just a trim level but I do recall hearing that they wanted to divorce the Viper from the Dodge brand with the Gen 5 by making SRT it's brand.

    Yes it's like they want to give potential customers a conniption as part of the shopping experience. They should have a meeting about this and figure out how to clean up their naming schemes.

    I agree that the gap between the Viper and the other SRT vehicles is huge, but they should make an effort to clear up their brand messaging. When people search for a dodge viper on google they may get hits for older vipers, not the new SRT Viper...or people who want to buy the Grand Cherokee SRT may expect to find it on Jeep's website, but there's hardly any mention of it on there aside from going to the configuration tool, clicking 4x4 and then selecting it as the highest available trim level.

    Likewise, people expecting the Gen 5 to be a "dodge viper" will not find it at all on Dodge's website, leading them to believe it's not even in production. Hell it was by accident that I found out the Gen 5 was going to go on sale. It just seems like there's a lot of bad upper management decision-making going on and fixing this wouldn't be as costly as the potential sales they're not realizing by making their brands/naming so convoluted.
     
  12. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Enthusiast

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    There is no "SRT" brand on cars.com etc..the SRT Viper is listed as a model of Dodge...so it's neither a brand or a trim level, but a model of car produced by Dodge. The world isn't getting the distinction, that's for sure. Then again, they were always Chrysler Vipers in Europe and Dodge here in USA.
     
  13. kdaviper

    kdaviper Enthusiast

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    SRT was spun-off as a standalone brand for budgeting purposes, I believe... the same reason Ram was spunoff into its own brand. Each brand now has its own budgets to work with, its own management, etc. As for the nomenclature, i agree that they should find some kind of standard, but the reasoning might have to do with the car's origin. Perhaps the reason they still use the donor brand's logos is because they weren't designed from ground-up by SRT, so they don't deserve the credit for the entire car... parhaps it's to help the halo effect by association.
     
  14. slysnake

    slysnake Enthusiast

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    It will always be a Dodge to me. Dodge has a great muscle car tradition and the Viper is part of that.
     
  15. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    A new brand is a difficult thing to create and mainatain. Just look at how many, including entire companies, have gone away: Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Packard, Studebaker, AMG, etc. To successfully create a new brand requires a significant budget; a spot on marketing plan developed by marketing pros after some very careful "buyer" analysis; and perfect execution of that plan so that the message is precisely controlled.

    There is a huge difference between creating a vehicle for an existing market and expanding the existing market to non traditional buyers for the vehicle. The attempt at creating the SRT brand may have been primarily intended as a means to expand the market for the Viper to non traditional Viper purchasers since the SRT brand came into existence with the Gen V Viper and I have heard that the business plan that justified Viper production projected about 2000 cars a year.

    The attempted creation of the SRT brand may have happened too fast. One symptom of this is that the Gen V has a cross hair Dodge grille which was undoubtedly designed and ordered from the vendor before the SRT brand was created. I would guess that if the Viper and the SRT brand survives that you will see an SRT grille in the 2015 Viper. Another obvious symptom is the flawed marketing effort including such things as mentioned above regarding Viper still being listed on web sites under Dodge.

    Even if SRT 's valient effort to become a brand fails, I do not see a big downside. SRT will just return to what it used to be. Its tradition of engineering excellence will continue as a performance function like Ford SVT. That worked well before the branding effort and I am sure that it will work just fine for both Chrysler and the purchasing public if it is that way again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  16. Nine Ball

    Nine Ball Enthusiast

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    Funny story that is somewhat related. I bought a new '13 Ram 4x4 Sport about a week after I got the '13 Viper. It has the same radio as the Viper. It used to have the SRT Performance ap on the radio, and when I'd open it up it would show the vehicle was thinking it was an SRT8 Jeep, with the Jeep on the screen. Now it doesn't give me that Ap as an option. Weird, I should have taken a photo of it. I didn't think it would disappear like that.
     
  17. BigDawg

    BigDawg Enthusiast

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    It's no different than AMG. AMG is a trim level for the Mercedes brand, however the SLS was technically an AMG car, not a Mercedes. Even though it donned the Mercedes badge and everyone called it the Mercedes SLS, it was actually the AMG SLS. No big deal.

    Edit. Didn't realize someone already posted this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  18. DMan

    DMan Enthusiast

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    Yea, several of us noticed this before. The biggest thing to me is this -

    There is no Viper on the Dodge site. Ram is a brand and they have a link to find Ram trucks, no problem, but there's no link/ badge to SRT, etc.

    But, web presence probably falls under marketing and the biggest, if not only, crack in SRTs armor is their lame marketing department. The SRT site is weak as well.

    Does this hurt sales? I don't know, you'd think that if you were in the market for a Viper you'd certainly know it exists via mags and online, but perhaps there could be some missing it and the Dodge site recognizes every vehicle and brand .. except the SRT Viper, which is supposed to be like a halo car, so if you went there you'd assume there is no Viper. I mean, if there were a Viper, certainly it would be used on the website, doh.
     
  19. ViperSmith

    ViperSmith Enthusiast

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    DMan, also the fact there is no car configurator for the Viper yet.

    People like to build and dream what they can buy now.
     
  20. DMan

    DMan Enthusiast

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    This ^^ Big time. I know I do this multiple times when thinking about a car and then buy it.
     
  21. PeerBlock

    PeerBlock Enthusiast

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    I like performance cars in general, but I don't subscribe to any mags, so if I didn't find out about the Viper accidentally as I did, I would likely not have known it was available and I may have ended up buying a GT-R like I was originally planning to.

    That's why I don't think SRT is like AMG or M, because both M and AMG are restricted to one maker. Chrysler applies the SRT moniker to vehicles from 3 different brands - and that's where things get messed up.

    Each brand tends to attract a specific type of shopper. Jeep shoppers may be more interested in an off-road vehicle or an SUV that is capable of doing more than fetching groceries - but I don't think the average Jeep owner is interested in having a sports car in a Jeep's body. Same with the Chrysler 300 - the people buying that car are probably more interested in its style and not really so much its performance.

    I think SRT should follow what Toyota did with Scion - where SRT is its own brand, own dealer network and its own specific vehicles.
     
  22. BigDawg

    BigDawg Enthusiast

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    I'm gonna have to disagree on one thing, I own a '14 SRT Jeep and know a lot of people with SRT Jeep. All of them wanted a Jeep that halls ass. I don't want an SRT SUV, I want a Jeep with the SRT package. Nothing better than people saying "oh it's just a Jeep" while they drive away in their crap C class Mercedes not realizing my Jeep is the same price as the C63. I love it. Even better is when people try to beat you at the light. The "Jeep" badge does wonders in that department. I would for a fact not purchase an SRT brand specific SUV.
     
  23. ferraritoviper

    ferraritoviper Enthusiast

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    Gotta agree with OP. Was on phone today with Reliable, to ship my G5 to Florida. He asked what car I was shipping, I told him a 2013 Dodge Viper!!
     
  24. 05Commemorative

    05Commemorative Enthusiast

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    do you really find people are confusing your SRT Jeep with a normal Jeep? Pretty obvious they are build for speed and not going off road. I personally love them, but don't really think sleeper material. As a note, the C63 is a fair amount faster (unless taking off where the roads are wet). Again, like both products and have had both.
     
  25. 05Commemorative

    05Commemorative Enthusiast

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    As far as the thread, interesting discussion. I just wonder if the bigger plan is to get rid of the Dodge name all together. Moving the trucks away to RAM took away all the profits. Moving Viper away took away the halo. Remove the SRT offerings and what really is left?

    As much as it pains me to say it, the Dodge brand is well known in the US, but not particularly a positive name brand. So, I just wonder if trying to remove it, because as others have said, having the SRT be something like AMG makes sense. If they were all just Chrysler as the brand (or whatever name) then have SRT versions, seems to make some sense.
     
  26. PeerBlock

    PeerBlock Enthusiast

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    The SRT Cherokee is actually a pretty competent vehicle overall, not just "for an SUV". It can handle well on a track in addition to quick acceleration, and it's probably the most well-rounded high performance SUV on the market right now...but the problem is that if you don't already know it exists you won't easily find it on Jeep's website - there's no link to it. You'll only see the SRT trim level in the configurator.

    Personally, I would prefer the exclusivity of having a performance-oriented brand like SRT that is separate from Chrysler's other brands. Wouldn't you like an SUV with the Viper's V10 in it? It could happen. :)
     
  27. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Your spot on about the Jeep. The most frequent question I get is: "How much did it cost you to make your Jeep look like that?"

     
  28. Ricketts

    Ricketts Enthusiast

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    Yes the whole SRT Viper, and RAM trucks not being Dodges anymore is a dumb and confusing idea. When I went to look at the GEN V's online. I went to Dodge's site and of course they weren't there, nor could I even find a link to them/SRT on Dodge's site. So I then just had to google to find the site.
     
  29. DMan

    DMan Enthusiast

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    SRT has a long way to go on this point.

    Ford has SVT, if you're not a Ford fan or really, really into the car scene, you don't know SVT, even though they've been spec'ing perf cars for Ford since 1993 or so. Ford used the Shelby name to essentially swap for SVT, knowing car peeps would recognize, we all know SVT spec'ed the car, but to get $75K for a stang .. throw the Shelby name on it and then $75K isn't enough, you need ADMs on there.

    SRT is almost as unknown, I have to tell people all the time what SRT is. At VOI I drove the SRT Jeep, hands down the best vehicle there to drive, it was uber cool. I was considering one for my swap in January but priced it out & a Jeep at $65K+ is nuts even to me, and I've had 4 Jeeps. Just like a $70K stang was nuts, but eventually I bought two of them. I'm not drinking the cool aid on a $65K Jeep Cherokee though. And, no, people don't recognize on the SRT. I have friends with SRTs, one has had his in the shop quite a bit, the others has been perfect, both say no one knows it's anything other than a Jeep Cherokee that looks cool.

    Doesn't this all really come down to one thing though? Marketing Fail.

    Extremists aside with their, SRT needs 140,000HP in every car talk, the only "major" flaw in SRT is the marketing, of SRT itself and the SRT vehicles. Maybe they have no $ and can't afford good marketing people, then it is what it is, but they have the engineering and the cool designers who know how to put it on the road, but man, they suck at selling it. Ralph can't go and talk to every potential buyer and convince them to buy for Pete's sake.

    Hell, if they made a convertible SRT product, I'd probably have yet another SRT vehicle, I can't find a vert I like these days, if there was a Challenger vert from SRT (not aftermarket chop jobs) I'd have one for sure. Of course they might, and maybe I just can't find any info on it. ;-)
     

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