Don’t believe the spin you see in the media…
From the first reveal of the Durango Hellcat, Dodge has been pretty upfront about the limited nature of the big kitty. For anyone who’s been paying attention, it’s not surprising that the Dodge Durango Hellcat is done after being produced for just a year. It’s the same fate which awaits the Challenger and Charger Hellcats, sadly. Even knowing the fate from the beginning, it’s still not pleasant seeing another cool, crazy production vehicle put down.
Read more about the death of all the Hellcats here.
If you read many of the usual automotive media outlets, you’ll be squarely informed this is all because of the big, bad government raining on the parade. But that’s necessary to stop global warming, because after all you can just stop putting carbon into the atmosphere and it’s like pushing a button to activate the planet’s air conditioning system, cooling everything again. That’s how science works, or something like that. Oh, and Dodge is totally going to release an all-electric muscle car the average Joe will be able to afford in 2024. And they have a bridge in Afghanistan you should really buy.
Some really took issue with what I said about Dodge cancelling the Challenger and Charger Hellcat twins last week. One thing which seems to be a common misperception is that there’s nothing Stellantis or any automaker could have done about the government regulations which have led to the demise of these and other vehicles. That’s simply not true; automaker work hand in glove with the administrative state like DOT and DOE, helping to write the regulations for the industry.
This is the dirty truth about what many corporations do in large part to keep barriers for entry so high new competitors find it all but impossible to successfully enter and compete in the market. Why do you think certain automakers were begging the Trump administration to reinstate some of the suspended emissions regulations? Oh yeah, the cover was they were really concerned about the planet because that sounds super noble, but the reality is far more selfish and banal. And while these regulations might hurt consumers, because you have to pay more to cover all those nifty compliance technologies and designs, the automakers who help write them don’t seem to care one bit about your pocketbook. In fact, they’re laughing all the way to the bank.
What doesn’t help with the misperception about the situation is the automotive media which has been dutifully “informing” readers that it’s really the government which killed the Hellcats. They’ll repeat the same thing as more and more performance vehicles can’t be sold anymore. Most automotive media outlets are pretty beholden to automakers since they want access to press pool cars, presser events, and other perks. If you don’t go along with the plan you don’t get any of that. They truly are access media which doesn’t dare bite the hand which feeds them.
One publication I won’t name which spoke to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis repeated the tired old line that an electrified SUV will replace the Durango, so we should be happy. And of course, there will be a performance version of this supposed future SUV which will be so much better than the Hellcat! Obviously, there’s no talk about price. Adjusting for that super great inflation we’re seeing rising like a tidal wave, the price for that future all-electric performance SUV could easily be $140,000 or more. The future sure sounds neat for the automakers!