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Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2008 -

The Dodge brand starts the 2009 model year at full throttle, adding its first crossover vehicle, an all-new American muscle car, a “game-changing” full-size pickup truck and a fuel-efficient sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to its product portfolio.

The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger, a car that represents the best of the past and present; the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram, a truck packed with firsts and best-in-class features; and the 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI® Hybrid, a hybrid-electric vehicle that combines fuel-efficient advanced-hybrid technology with full-size SUV performance and capability, all epitomize the “Grab Life” spirit of the brand.

With a work-hard, play-hard attitude, the Dodge brand continues to offer a full lineup of cars, trucks, the world’s best-selling minivan, SUVs and commercial vehicles that allow consumers to get the most out of their lives.
“The Dodge barrage continues into 2009 as the brand brings several new vehicles to market,” said Mike Accavitti – Director, Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing and Communications, Chrysler LLC. “Our Dodge Grand Caravan is the bread and butter for the brand, our Ram is the meat and potatoes and the Dodge Challenger is the sweet dessert. Combined with the rest of the Dodge product line, there is a vehicle perfect for any taste.”

Leading the way is the all-new 2009 Dodge Journey. The brand’s first crossover blends the capability of a SUV with the overall efficiency of a passenger car into a “right-sized” package available at a best-in-class starting price. Keeping the family resemblance, the signature Dodge crosshair grille has been integrated into the Journey, conveying that strong, expressive and dependable brand persona. Journey handles life’s ever-changing challenges with best-in-class storage solutions that include Flip ’n Stow™ in-seat storage, a rear tri-section load floor and two in-floor storage bins along with flexible seating combinations including a segment-first available integrated child booster seat and available third-row seating with Tilt ’n Slide easy entry. With best-in-class fuel economy and the coveted National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Five Star® front and side crash test rating, Journey delivers peace of mind for its passengers.

Nearly 40 years after the debut of the original, Dodge has brought the Challenger back, loading it with essential hardware, styling and technology desired by today’s buyer. The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger merges the best American muscle-car characteristics — unmistakable design, world-class handling, powerful engines and cutting-edge technology — to delight driving enthusiasts across several generations. The Dodge Challenger is a five-passenger, two-door coupe produced from Chrysler’s proven rear-wheel-drive platform that delivers the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Three models will be offered in North America: Dodge Challenger SRT8®, Dodge Challenger R/T and Dodge Challenger SE.

When it came time to redesign the next-generation light-duty Ram, Dodge pulled out all the stops. The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is a game-changer in terms of its ability to “outsmart” and “out-tough” the competition. With a typically bold Dodge exterior design, a crafted and refined interior, engineering excellence, superb innovation, and best-in-class features and amenities, this truck is ready for demanding truck buyers. With one of the most comprehensive model lineups in the segment, the Ram now offers its first-ever crew-size cab, giving Dodge an entry into the largest and fastest-growing part of the market. The new Dodge Ram Crew 1500 is loaded with innovative features including an available first-in-segment RamBox cargo management system that provides weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into both fender sides for effortless access and convenience. Each box holds up to five cases (120 cans) of 12-ounce beverages. Another segment first on the Dodge Ram Crew 1500 is a pair of “store in the floor” bins with removable liners that offer even more versatile storage — large enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice. Ram also offers the first-in-segment, coil-spring multilink rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle that provides ride and handling capabilities unexpected in a pickup truck. Ram’s new 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 provides more horsepower (380) and torque (404 lb.-ft.), with increased fuel economy (an estimated 4 percent). In addition to the HEMI, Ram offers two additional gasoline powertrain options and will add the company’s advanced two-mode hybrid to the light-duty Dodge Ram powertrain lineup in 2010.

The 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid, along with the 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid, offers customers the sought-after blend of performance, utility, capability and improved fuel economy. Combined with Chrysler’s Multi-displacement System (MDS), the company’s advanced, two-mode hybrid technology immediately delivers an overall fuel economy improvement of more than 25 percent — and up to a 40 percent improvement in the city. As Chrysler LLC’s first entries into the hybrid market, the Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid are capable of towing 6,000 lbs., maintaining full-size SUV status. And with 385 horsepower on demand, Chrysler’s new hybrids offer an efficient package without sacrificing performance.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in the 2009 model year, the Dodge Grand Caravan is still delivering on industry-exclusive features and technologies including:
Rear Cross Path, which warns drivers of approaching traffic in the parking lot aisle during back-up maneuvers
Blind Spot Monitoring, which aids drivers when changing lanes if being passed by vehicles or when vehicles are positioned in the blind spot zone
Third-row Rear-seat Swivel Screen, which allows passengers facing the rear of the vehicle, via the Swivel ’n Go™ seating system, to view the screen (late availability and packaged with swivel seats)

The Dodge Grand Caravan continues to raise the bar for the minivan segment, adding more than 40 new or improved features over the previous generation minivan. From its class-exclusive Swivel ’n Go or Stow ’n Go® seating and storage systems, to safety features like all-row supplemental side-curtain air bags or ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, to entertainment features such as uconnect studios with first-ever SIRIUS Backseat TV™, it’s no wonder the Dodge Grand Caravan is America’s best-selling minivan.

But not only is it loaded with features on the inside, the Dodge Grand Caravan provides an enlivened driving experience with its class-exclusive 4.0L V-6 engine and 6-speed transmission, solidifying the vehicle’s leadership position in the market.

Dodge has retooled its passenger car business in recent years with the introductions of the Dodge Avenger and Dodge Caliber. They join the Dodge Charger to offer consumers a variety of vehicles that reflect the brand’s expressive styling, innovative features and exhilarating performance. The Dodge Avenger combines all of that with excellent fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon on the highway and a Flex Fuel engine option available on the SXT model.

HEMI engines, SRT models and NASCAR racing are core to Dodge, but the brand does not live by power and performance alone. Product innovations and first-of-their-kind features are also in Dodge’s DNA. Current examples include:
Chill Zone™ storage compartment and a heated/cooled front cup holder in the Avenger, Caliber and Journey

Vehicle Entertainment System includes dual DVD players and screens that deliver a variety of programming choices, with ports to connect games and portable media players on the Durango, Charger, Ram, Journey, Avenger and Nitro

Full iPod integration into the audio system on Grand Caravan, Challenger, Charger and Journey

Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) designation for the Avenger SXT, Ram 1500, Dakota and Durango, providing customers the option to use E85 ethanol fuel
Trailer Sway Control on Durango and Ram 1500
Fuel-saving 1.8-, 2.0- and 2.4-liter World Engines available on Caliber
6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine, the cleanest and best-performing heavy-duty pickup truck in the market, on Mega Cab® and Ram Heavy Duty
Extending its bold, Ram-tough leadership and heritage into the commercial vehicle market while setting the new commercial standard, Dodge now offers a full line of Class 2 through Class 5 commercial vehicles. Anchored by three extremely powerful, capable and durable work trucks – the 2009 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs, the 2009 Dodge Sprinter – market’s top-performing full-size van, and the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan cargo van, Dodge continues its commercial market onslaught with a barrage of product enhancements and improvements to deliver maximum uptime, capability and savings for commercial customers.

Dodge recorded global sales of 1.3 million vehicles in 2007. International sales jumped 95 percent, from 30,527 units in 2006 to 59,545 units in 2007. Dodge vehicles spearheaded Chrysler’s expansion into international markets in 2007, led by Caliber, Avenger, Nitro and Caliber SRT4®. In fact, with 30,937 units sold outside North America, Dodge Caliber was the highest sales volume vehicle for the company. Journey will continue the Dodge brand’s expansion into global markets outside North America with both left- and right-hand drive models, starting in mid-2008.
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