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Dodge: The Truth

Written by Mitch Mitchell

Change is good! As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you are finished!” Dodge and our parent company, Chrysler Group LLC, have undergone some changes. Chrysler Group LLC went through a Chapter 11 restructuring procedure earlier this year. We exited bankruptcy after just 40 days, which is an amazing feat. A new company was formed, Chrysler Group LLC, including a new alliance with Fiat SpA. Additional changes have included a new top management leadership team, as well as changes to the team that supports the police market and our great police vehicle, the Dodge Charger.

With all of these corporate and public changes taking place at the corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, the question has come up among some fleet managers, “Will Chrysler Group LLC and the Dodge brand continue to be players in the police market?” Here is the answer in police terms, i.e., in Black & White: Our commitment to the police market, and our continuous development of the best performing police sedan on the market today, has not changed.

As evidence of our commitment, we continue to refine the performance of the Dodge Charger for the 2010MY. This was clearly seen at the recent Michigan State Police tests. The Dodge Charger turned in the best and safest overall performance, from an acceleration, pursuit and braking perspective, for the fourth year in a row.

In addition to our continued excellence in the performance arena, we are continuing to offer our customers support in the service area as well. We have recently increased our powertrain warranty on the Charger from 3 years/36K miles to a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty. This matches the best in the industry, and it includes police and special service vehicles. We now have a top-notch warranty paired with a top-notch vehicle.

Many agencies service their fleets in-house. As such, we continue to offer our Charger Technical Training courses to fleet technicians to increase their service level knowledge on our police vehicle. This is a first in the industry! This tech training course and our new warranty demonstrate our commitment to the police community by helping to increase the in-service lives of the police Chargers, while also decreasing the direct service costs.

We continue to show our dedication to this market by making ourselves available at all of the major law enforcement trade shows and events, as well as many local and regional ones. Most of our fleet staff was on-hand at the Police Fleet Expo in Milwaukee. Our fleet staff was joined by the Chief Engineer of the Charger platform at the IACP convention in Denver. Even in tight economic times, we continue to mark these events as a top priority and continue to maintain our presence.

We also persist in keeping our finger on the pulse of the market by working with our Police Advisory Board, which recently met in mid-September. These industry experts continue to ensure that we are vigilant in maintaining our direction and focus in the marketplace and continue to provide officers, troopers, deputies, chiefs and sheriffs with what they need in a police vehicle.

We are also taking an introspective look to see how we can improve upon our standing within the police market by reviewing our 1) Product, 2) Processes and 3) Partnerships. We will continue to provide market-leading products from our vehicle portfolio in the 2011MY and beyond.

Along with our products, we are also reviewing the internal processes that form the underpinning of our after-sales performance, and we aim to improve on this front as well. Lastly, we look to form internal and external partnerships that can provide the synergies necessary to take Dodge and Chrysler Group LLC to the next level. We will share the specifics of all these plans in the near future.

Yes, we have changed. And we will continue to change for the better to serve those who protect and serve. We continue to change in whatever ways necessary to show our dedication to this group. There is nothing wrong with a little change. Change is good. Charger change is even better! And that’s the truth!

Mitch Mitchell is the Senior Manager, Government & Military Sales Programs, at Chrysler Group LLC. He may be reached at em57@chrysler.com.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Sep/Oct 2009

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