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Dodge slashes Caliber price

More affordable American: Dodge has slashed the price of its Caliber small-sized hatchback.

Edgy Caliber hatchback cops $6500 price cut courtesy of Dodge

Dodge logo11 Jul 2011

DODGE has lopped $6500 – almost a quarter of the vehicle’s price – from its boxy Caliber five-door hatchback.

The distinctive Dodge can now be had for $23,500 in SXT guise, representing a cut of 21.7 per cent from the previous $30,000 price point.

The price cut, which came into effect on June 17, helped the smallest model in Dodge’s Australian range achieve a comparatively stellar 48 sales in June, its best sales month since November 2008.

The North American small car, which has been achieving just a handful of sales each month in Australia of late, was up by a whopping 269.2 per cent on its June performance last year.

With only 71 units finding homes for the year-to-date, June was responsible for 68 percent of the Caliber’s total sales for the first half of 2011.

The SXT, which has been the sole specification available in the Caliber range since the car was facelifted last July, is powered by a 115kW/190Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

That facelift brought an all-new interior design and a $1000 price cut on the SXT while bringing about the demise of all other variants in the model range, making this the second Caliber price cut in 12 months.

41 center imageLeft: Ford Escape. Below: Vertrek concept.

The other two members in Dodge’s Australian model triumvirate have performed well so far this year, with the Journey people-mover continuing to sell in strong numbers – it is the third-best seller in its segment in 2011 with 12.8 per cent market share – and the Nitro medium SUV up 162.4 per cent on last year’s results.

Meanwhile, Ford has slashed $5000 from the price of its aged Escape SUV, which now retails for $28,990 in 2.3-litre petrol automatic guise.

Just like the Caliber, the Blue Oval’s long-in-the-tooth contender in the fiercely-fought compact SUV segment is only available in a single variant.

The decade-old Escape has soldiered on as Ford’s compact SUV contender in this country, despite the presence of the newer Kuga model in overseas markets, making do with several facelifts since its launch in 2001.

Despite its elderly status, Escape sales are up by 35.8 per cent so far this year, with 1657 units rolling off the lots to the end of June.

As GoAuto reported at the start of the year, the Escape nameplate is set to stay on after the current model wanders into the sunset, with the replacement model confirmed to retain the established badge when it is launched here in 2012.

The next-generation model was previewed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January as the Vertrek, with 80 per cent of the concept expected to make it into the final production version.

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