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What about when Plymouth bit the dust? As I recall. Plymouth outsold Dodge, but Plymouth was more expendable because of how the dealer network was structured.

I had a soft spot for Plymouth as my parents owned 1956 and 1973 models, and almost bought a new 1970 Superbird in 73 instead of the 73. I owned a 1966 Plymouth myself for 40 years.
Did Plymouth really outsell Dodge during that time period? For some reason I didn't think it did, but I could be wrong.

Either way, I agree it was kind of dumb to totally kill it. In all fairness the big 3 probably collected a few too many brand names over the years, and there really wasn't much differentiation with a lot of them, so some of them probably had to go... THAT SAID I think a lot of them could have come up with creative ways to keep some of the nameplates alive.

Basically kill them as a real company, and consolidate the dealership networks. Then just keep 1-2 models that are actually somewhat different than the stuff on the other brands around. Done. That's practically what they've done with Dodge and Chrysler both at this point really, which is pretty sad.

But it is what it is I guess!

My Grandmother had a four door Fury, and we'd had two Fury wagons. This was the 70s and those cars were huge.

I thought the old Voyager ads were terrible, but the vans were nice enough.
Those old Furies were sweet!

Don’t underestimate the role executive’s egos factor into decisions like you’ve cited.
Indeed. Once they've made a stupid decision, they usually don't like to back down from it because it would be admitting a mistake!
 

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Either way, I agree it was kind of dumb to totally kill it. In all fairness the big 3 probably collected a few too many brand names over the years, and there really wasn't much differentiation with a lot of them, so some of them probably had to go... THAT SAID I think a lot of them could have come up with creative ways to keep some of the nameplates alive.

Basically kill them as a real company, and consolidate the dealership networks. Then just keep 1-2 models that are actually somewhat different than the stuff on the other brands around. Done. That's practically what they've done with Dodge and Chrysler both at this point really, which is pretty sad.
Killing a brand didn't save much money but it was a means to trim the dealer network. The problem the domestic car industry had (as still has) is dealers compete with other dealers of the same brand more than they compete with other brands. I live in the Toronto area and FCA has over 100 dealers within 60 miles of my house! There are major grocery store chains that have fewer stores in the same area.

Unlike GM which ran its divisions as almost standalone companies, I don't think Chrysler has done that in a long, long time. Back in the late 70s all employees worked for Chrysler Corp (I interviewed for a job with them).
 

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Killing a brand didn't save much money but it was a means to trim the dealer network. The problem the domestic car industry had (as still has) is dealers compete with other dealers of the same brand more than they compete with other brands. I live in the Toronto area and FCA has over 100 dealers within 60 miles of my house! There are major grocery store chains that have fewer stores in the same area.

Unlike GM which ran its divisions as almost standalone companies, I don't think Chrysler has done that in a long, long time. Back in the late 70s all employees worked for Chrysler Corp (I interviewed for a job with them).
Yeah, I worked for a couple Chevy dealers 10+ years ago. We were far more concerned with the numbers other Chevy dealers were moving than what the Toyota dealer down the street was doing. There were waaay too many dealerships around. I know during the 2008 mess there was a lot of forced consolidation from some companies. The company I worked for sold their Dodge store to another Dodge store. It did literally nothing but make sure there was one fewer dealership around.

Other than MAYBE really deep rural areas, there's no reason some dealership needs to be around that sells a dozen or 2 new cars a month. Lots of domestic dealers were that low. Hopefully it's consolidated down a bit further at this point.

But all that said, is they still wouldn't have to kill a brand to achieve that... Order consolidation (Dodge did this in 08/09), and then just have whatever dealers are left sell all the name plates your parent company has. Pretty simple.
 
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