November 18, 2011 Autos Insider | New Dodge won't be called Hornet | The Detroit News
New Dodge won’t be called Hornet
Company will debut name-not-yet-known compact at NAIAS
Los Angeles —The all-new compact Dodge to be shown at the North American International Auto Show will notbe called the Hornet.
The sedan, the first Chrysler Group LLC vehicle to be engineered by Fiat SpA, will be revealed next year, likely at the Detroit show.
But the name could be announced in a couple of weeks.
"Hornet will not be the name," said Reid Biglund, head of the Dodge brand, as well as U.S. sales and Canadian operations.
Many media outlets have reported the Hornet name.
Dodge did show a concept by that name in 2006.
Chrysler is deciding whether to reveal the name before revealing the car, to create buzz about the car.
"I've never been more excited about a new car than I am about the new compact," Biglund said.
"It fills a significant hole in the product portfolio."
Chrysler does not have a compact sedan in its lineup to compete against the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra.
That means the automaker does not have a player in a segment that accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. market and 25 percent of the Canadian market.
"So this compact vehicle is going to allow us to compete in 100 percent of the market," Biglund said.
The automaker's business plan initially called for a Chrysler brand compact sedan as well, but that car has since been stricken from the plan.
The automaker will consider a compact crossover for the Chrysler brand in the future, said Saad Chehab, head of the Chrysler and Lancia brands.
But for now, the plan is for one strong car for the Dodge brand, Biglund said. There are no plans for derivatives at this time.
Meanwhile, Chrysler has stopped taking orders for the Dodge Nitro. Production of the utility vehicle will cease in about 30 days.