2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Dodge celebrates its market launch in Europe this summer. The Caliber will be the first vehicle to be available from dealers. It should represent an "emotional alternative" in the golf class, as Marketing Manager Robert Scheffler told the Autogazette.
The Dodge brand, which belongs to DaimlerChrysler, will celebrate its market launch in Europe this summer. First of all, the Caliber will come into the showrooms. With it, those responsible want to offer customers an “emotional alternative” in the golf class, as Robert Scheffler said of the Autogazette.
Scheffler, Marketing Director for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge, expects the brand to stand out from the “uniform mass” of other models thanks to its attributes of “honesty and masculinity”. “We don't just have to introduce a product, but a brand. Of course, the level of awareness of Dodge cannot be compared with Mercedes-Benz or brands such as Kraft or Ikea. That's why you have to be very careful to use the brand cleanly in the German market,”said Scheffler, who has been responsible for the market launch of Dodge since August 2005.
A little bolder
For half a year now, Dodge has been launching the American brand with an Internet campaign. Especially with Dodge as a life-affirming brand, you can be a bit cheekier, a little more direct, as we tried with 'www.grab-life-by-the-horns.de' and as we are now with the international campaign ' www.ramrash.com 'try', says the 35-year-old trained industrial clerk.
From the summer, the Caliber will stand out from the "uniform mass" of other models. “The other products with which Dodge is coming to Europe - especially the Nitro - are very expressive and powerfully designed vehicles. We are therefore sure that we will get a piece of the market share cake,”says Scheffler.
Performance a competitive advantage
Autogazette: Mr. Scheffler, Dodge is coming to Europe this summer. The Caliber is to be placed in competition with competitors such as the VW Golf. How do you get the confidence that the European and German markets can handle another car brand?
Scheffler:In many ways. We believe Dodge vehicles meet European tastes. That has to do with the unique position of Dodge vehicles in their segments. The segment in which we are bringing the Dodge Caliber into this summer is more rationally oriented. We believe that with the Caliber we offer a decidedly emotional alternative. The other products with which Dodge comes to Europe - especially the Nitro - are very expressive and powerfully designed vehicles. We are therefore sure that we will get a piece of the market share cake.
Autogazette: What are the sales expectations for the Caliber?
Scheffler:You know that we are not communicating budget figures. But with Dodge and the Caliber we will be able to annoy one or the other in Germany.
Autogazette: Who are you trying to annoy?
Scheffler: We are not Volkswagen and we will never achieve such dimensions with the Dodge brand in Germany. We tend to see the Mazda3 or the Alfa 147 as competitors.
Autogazette: The Caliber will have more horsepower than its competitors. Despite the fossil fuel crisis and times of high fuel prices, is this an advantage?
Scheffler:On the one hand, more power is really a competitive advantage if the power goes hand in hand with economic use of the resource. Customers want vehicles with which they are safe and sporty, but also use little petrol. In the diesel sector, we have a 2.0 liter with 140 hp, which has a standard consumption of six liters per 100 kilometers. Even with the 1.8 gasoline engine, the values will not be significantly higher.
Autogazette: Are you assuming that the diesel will be the volume model?
Scheffler: In this segment the diesel share is "only" 41 percent, but we believe that we will sell more diesel than petrol.
Autogazette: The compact car segment is the most competitive market. Why are you entering this segment? Wouldn't it have made more sense to enter the SUV class with the Nitro?
Scheffler: Dodge is a down-to-earth brand that appeals to a large number of families. Since the Caliber best represents the Dodge brand, it was chosen. He is an ideal representative of the brand and a good calling card for Dodge. The nitro is more of an exclamation point in the direction of larger vehicles.
Autogazette:How do you intend to convince customers to choose a Dodge, primarily based on price?
Scheffler: We'll try to tell customers what the Dodge brand actually stands for: namely, strength, joie de vivre and honesty. Due to the different nature of the product and brand positioning, we address interested parties who are deliberately looking for a vehicle in this segment with which they can stand out from the uniform crowd and are really able to make a statement with the Caliber.
Autogazette: The VW Golf is also characterized by its down-to-earthness, which really doesn't stand out from the crowd. The price doesn't matter?
Scheffler:For us, down-to-earth means: This is a vehicle that you can afford. This also includes the Dodge brand value honesty, which our standard free service contract ?? Five-Star Premium Package ?? by covering inspection and repair costs for four years. In doing so, we meet the economic interests of those who want to drive an expressive car at a low price and with little financial risk.
Price important aspect
Autogazette: The starting price for the Golf is just over 15,500 euros. How much cheaper will the Caliber be and when will it be launched?
Scheffler: The Dodge Caliber will be launched in Germany in the summer and we will announce the price in good time.
Autogazette: Doesn't the price play a decisive role, after all, don't you offer an additional discount with the service package?
Scheffler:The price is certainly an important aspect in this segment. However, we tend to believe in being able to win customers over to us through the powerful, honest, masculine of the brand - and of course through the great financial security that the? Five-star premium package? which, by the way, we attach a far greater impact and importance to than a simple discount.
Autogazette: In contrast to the Golf, the Caliber will tend to have the plastic charm: Isn't that underestimating the quality needs of German customers?
Scheffler: The interior of the Caliber is practical, robust, modern and friendly and offers welcome amenities such as a cooled glove compartment for drinks or a holder and a power connection for an MP3 player or mobile phone. In addition, he is honest and does not pretend what he is not. We know that the first requirement of many customers is reliability and robustness. This is more than guaranteed with the Dodge Caliber.
Autogazette: Where do you get this confidence from?
Scheffler:That is the result of our customer surveys. For many customers, less high-tech matters. They want a car that supports their everyday routines and that they can rely on - and they can rely on the Dodge Caliber.
Autogazette: How do you imagine the typical Dodge customer?
Scheffler: Our customer says yes to life, he loves life. We have a precise target group description for Dodge: The Dodge customer is between 25 and 49 years old. He wants to enjoy, has a great interest in social contacts. They are people who are very active and sporty and attach great importance to community.
Attractive masculinity arrives
Autogazette: Your target group consists of 80 percent male buyers …
Scheffler: … maybe the proportion of men is even higher. But that doesn't mean that we exclude women - on the contrary. Many off-road vehicles are also driven by women. Nevertheless, you will always find a high proportion of men of 80 to 90 percent in this segment. We speak of an attractive masculinity in our brand positioning that does not repel women.
Autogazette: Really, do women feel really addressed by your website “www.grab-life-by-the-horns.de”, which can be regarded as slightly disreputable?
Scheffler:We tested this intensively in advance with our own employees, who confirmed to us that we exude a kind of masculinity in our campaign that is very popular with women. Masculinity, which has a certain value, is very interesting for women. The fact that women feel put off by our website was not reflected in our experience.
Autogazette: How is the response on your site?
Scheffler:We have been in contact with over 500,000 people via our website since it started last December and have received two emails from visitors who were not satisfied with the offer. Otherwise we were confirmed by many women whether the value of the page. But taste limits can be discussed splendidly - especially in Germany. Everyone has their own moral claim to the limits of taste.
Insert mark cleanly
Autogazette: How big is the distance between masculinity and plumpness?
Scheffler: It depends on what you make of it, and one of our core tasks is to ensure that masculinity, on which we rely, does not slide into the plump.
Autogazette: If you want to position a new product, you have to offer something special. Was it therefore accepted that your internet presence would be offensive?
Scheffler:We don't just have to introduce a product, but a brand. The level of awareness of Dodge cannot, of course, be compared with Mercedes-Benz or brands like Kraft or Ikea. That is why you have to be very careful to use the brand properly in the German market. On the one hand you need a very clear communication statement, on the other hand you need attention. Especially with Dodge as a life-affirming brand, you can be a bit cheekier, a bit more direct, like we tried with “www.grab-life-by-the-horns.de” and how we are now with the international campaign “www.ramrash.com »try.
Autogazette: Dodge is the strongest brand within the Chrysler Group in the USA. What are your requirements for the German market?
Scheffler:Of course we have specifications and budget figures. For me personally, the greatest professional challenge is introducing the Dodge brand in Germany - and I'm proud of it. The fact that this task is of course driven by numbers does not mean that we all have a lot of fun working on it, which certainly has something to do with the imaginative personality of the very lively Dodge brand. We feel obliged to introduce the brand well, but we're having a lot of fun doing it.
Great potential in the new federal states
Autogazette: Chrysler and Jeep have a better standing in the new federal states than in the rest of the republic. Do you focus specifically on the East from the start?
Scheffler: We have found through surveys that we have great potential in the new federal states for two reasons: On the one hand, we offer a very interesting price alternative. On the other hand, they are more open to new brands there. That's why we believe we will have good potential with the Caliber.
The interview with Robert Scheffler was conducted by Frank Mertens and Thomas Flehmer
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