Dodge has launched a new logo that drops the Ram's head and aims to project an image of speed and agility appropriate for what Chrysler envisions to be its performance brand, reported the Detroit Free Press. The new graphic should clarify the difference between Dodge cars and Ram trucks, which are now a brand unto themselves. "It was needed as Dodge is now a standalone brand and the Ram logo was more appropriate for Ram Truck," Dodge said in a statement. Chrysler has treated each of its four brands -- Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram trucks -- as separate business units, each with its own president and CEO. Dodge is led by Ralph Gilles, who is also the company's senior vice president for product design. Dodge is striving to be the channel for Chrysler's performance cars such as the Charger and Challenger. But it plans to continue offering the Caravan minivan, Caliber crossover, Nitro and the Avenger midsize sedan. In January, Dodge chose Wieden & Kennedy, a Portland, Ore., agency known as the creator of Nike's advertising, as its ad agency. In launching new versions of the Charger and Avenger near the end of 2010, Dodge plans to align trim levels with different lifestyle preferences of its customers. Some new ads will tout what Dodge calls a "forever young" attitude and performance-driven history. The new brand logo features the name DODGE in capital letters paired with two red racing stripes that slash across the E, suggesting speed and agility. The logo will be used in communications, advertising, on the Internet and merchandise, but it will not appear on the vehicles or on dealership signage.
Equifax analysts say U.S. auto loan and lease originations declined 0.6% and 3.9% year-over-year in the first half of 2019, but balances for new vehicle loans were up 2.6%.