Dodge Is Doomed, And K-Mart Sucks Worse Than We Thought

Ahhh, the rich and loamy waft of broadly speculative brand analysis. One of the principals at 24/7 Wall St., Douglas A. McIntyre, has tossed Dodge, around since 1914, on a prophetic scrap-heap of dying brands. As far as we can tell, 24/7 Wall St. engages in various forms of financial content creation. And if Dodge does go down the tubes, at least it's in good company.

Although really, if you look at the list McIntyre has put together, Dodge stands out. We always shiver a bit when people start calling automotive marques "brands" because we know they don't mean brand in the same way that Walter Chrysler or Alfred P. Sloan did. They're usually talking about some kind of unholy postmodern marketing phantasm, which suits entities such as Yahoo and Vonage. Even K-Mart and Old Navy, components of Sears and The Gap, are more about service—managing their merchandise mix—than they are about actually making anything.

Dodge, on the other hand, represents a complex manufactured product. Old school, as well, and thus invested with all sorts of multi-generational passion. Plus, while as McIntyre points out it's expensive for Chryslerbus to maintain Dodge as a stand-alone brand, it can be worth it in the car biz, to prevent your main brand from becoming too crowded.

Think about it: Would you buy a big Chrysler pickup truck?