Say what you want about DaimlerChrsyler
The German/American automotive giant has grabbed plenty of attention in the past week after unveiling the latest edition to its lineup at the Detroit Auto Show: the 2006 Dodge Charger. The much-anticipated car revives a nameplate that's been defunct for almost 20 years. It's famous for its association with The Dukes of Hazzard, but it's a safe bet that Bo and Luke probably wouldn't recognize this new model.
That's in part because DaimlerChrysler has turned the Charger from a coupe, its original design, into a four-door sedan. The company's goal was to create a car that generated a lot of buzz from muscle-car enthusiasts but also appealed to practical-minded consumers.
In a signal that the firm has a good shot at capturing the younger crowd, the Detroit News recently reported that rapper 50 Cent is champing at the bit to own a new Charger. DaimlerChrysler parlayed rapper Snoop Dogg's enthusiasm for the Chrysler 300 into plenty of free publicity, and the automaker looks poised to do the same with the Charger.
Nevertheless, unlike the more staid-looking 300, which was able to gain acceptance among rap stars and average families alike, the Charger could just be too hot for conventional buyers. Instead, DaimlerChrysler will probably need to be content to have the Charger compete with Ford's
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Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.