Dodge will unveil a new Alfa Romeo-based SUV
And reviving a long-forgotten nameplate in the process
CEO Carlos Tavares said he wants to make sure every brand under the giant Stellantis umbrella survives (and thrives) but he knows they don't really have much time. Car manufacturers are under enormous pressure, struggling with production and profitability issues mostly because building EVs is expensive and complicated. Auto makers regularly share technologies and know-how but they're now taking platform-sharing to a whole new level and we have to be ready for what's coming: in the next few years, we're probably going to see a plethora of Alfa, Lancia, Dodge, Chrysler and Peugeot vehicles built on the same architecture, with similar bodies and proportions, and different badges.
Dodge currently only sells three cars - Durango, Challenger and Charger - and they need more wood for the fire, which is why the brand is reportedly planning to bring back the Hornet nameplate and use it for an Alfa Tonale-based vehicle. Back when Dodge was still part of FCA, the company filed a trademark request with the UPSTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), which makes me think maybe they've been planning this for years, they just didn't know how to build it.
Mind you, there's good news, too. First of all, the (upcoming?) Hornet will look nothing like the rather horrendous Hornet concept (pictured below) that Dodge revealed nearly twenty years ago and secondly, the car will likely be available as a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, possibly as a hybrid.
I'm bullish on Stellantis because Tavares is a good CEO equipped with real-world common sense and pragmatism but I think the newly-formed group will soon face major challenges. Partly because having so many brands under one roof can a be a double-edged sword but chiefly because Stellantis was formed by merging FCA and PSA and while the latter was doing pretty well for itself even before the merger, the former did a truly horrible job with every brand it had excluding Jeep. Alfa, Lancia, Chrysler - and Dodge, to an extent - need rebuilding and, just like Tavares said, there isn't much time left.