Dodge To Stop Operations Of Challenger And Charger Muscle Cars In 2023

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Automobile company Dodge said on Tuesday that it would be discontinuing its gas-powered Challenger and Charger muscle cars at the end of next year, thus marking the end of an era for the brand as it begins the transition to electric vehicles.
Since being resurrected in the mid-to-late 2000s, the Charger and the Challenger, the names, which were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, have been best-sellers for Dodge and popular vehicles for a new generation of gearheads.

The two-door Challenger was very nostalgia with buyers thanks to its retro-inspired styling, while the four-door Charger has managed to achieve notable sales milestones despite consumers preferring SUVs to sedans in recent years.

Dodge has also been able to make profits from the vehicles, whose prices range from the low-$30,000s to nearly $90,000 for the infamous Hellcat models that produce more than 700 horsepower.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has suggested that the Charger and Challenger names could be used for upcoming electrified vehicles, like a forthcoming electric muscle car in 2024. He had earlier commented that electrification, whether hybrid vehicles with less powerful engines or all-electric models — will save what he has called the new "Golden Age of muscle cars."

As many brands switched to smaller and more fuel-efficient engines, Dodge rolled out Hellcat models and other high-performance vehicles. Such models helped generate attention for the brand but didn't help the automaker's carbon footprint, forcing it to buy carbon credits from automakers such as Tesla.

Dodge is planning many special vehicles and products to "celebrate" the end of the cars as they are today. The company's plans include seven special-edition, or "buzz," models, a commemorative "Last Call" under-hood plaque for all 2023 model-year vehicles and a new dealer allocation process, among other measures.

The new dealer process will see Dodge allocate 2023 Charger and Challenger models to lots all at once, instead of making orders available throughout the year. The company will provide customers a guide to locate specific models at each dealership. Kuniskis said the process is meant to assist customers in getting the specific vehicle they want.

"We wanted to make sure we were celebrating these cars properly," Kuniskis said during a media briefing for an event this week in Pontiac, Michigan.

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