Dodge Goes “Green”


 

If you’ve been reading the blog here at Red Letter Dodge, we truly hope that you have enjoyed the stories and pictures we captured on the HEMI Highway Tour. While it was just 40 days of activity, you may never have guessed that Heather and I had been building this adventure for nearly one full year.

In November 2009, I met Mark Mallie (then Challenger/Charger Brand Manager) and Eric Andrew for lunch. We deeply discussed steps forward in engaging Dodge customers on a more intimate level. By the end of that meeting, I was sent on a mission. That mission was to find out what YOU wanted from Dodge.

 

So, in December 2009, Heather and I hunkered down in our office and hit up the forums and blogs for your input. The response we received was staggering. In just two short weeks, hundreds upon hundreds of replies poured in and gave us some real direction as how to better approach Dodge’s most loyal fan base.


 

Heather and I read and listened to every word of each blog response, Facebook post, phone call, and/or email we received. Then, once the flow of intel had lessened, we came up for air and condensed that feedback onto a 4’x8’ dry erase board. We could not get another letter on the board.

And after all that analysis, we were left with one glaring request from you: “We want recognition from Dodge and the chance to see new products first!” It was resounding. And it would eventually serve as the basis for the HEMI Highway Tour.

 

Looking back at all the responses you sent, one enthusiast, in particular, blew us away.

A young man by the name of Lance Green (pictured below) contacted us on behalf of Amarillo Area Mopars (www.amarilloareamopars.com). Lance, founder of the club, is just 25 years old (reminiscent of Pedro Murillo from DFWLX). He actually started AAM when he was just 22. Nonetheless, Lance poured his heart and soul into a 3-page email that resonated so strongly with us that it was burned into our memory.

 

 

Lance made it clear: “Dodge should come directly to the fans. But don’t forget the small clubs out here. Everyone should count!”

 

Highlights of his email included the following comments (summarized for brevity).

 

“I love Mopar. The people who drive Mopars love them. I am just the nut job who will take the time to organize the group. [...] I have had some amazing experiences, met tons of new people, made some great friends, and have been able to see Chryslers at a rate I never expected. What a lucky guy I am!

“With each new member we acquire, they bring something new to the table. [...] Out of the same passion and enthusiasm that drove me to start the club, countless others have come in with the same drive. They get the word out, post flyers, tell friends, and recruit new members. Why do we do all this? Simple. We all love our Mopars!

 

“So where do you (Dodge) come in? What can you all do to get a connection with grassroots people like us? What would we like best? [...] I will tell you this is the consensus. Come to our events!

“Do you know what it would mean to folks in the club if we had an official rep from Dodge or Mopar show up with a Challenger or Viper and letting folks get their pictures taken? This is where memories come from.

 

“I know Dodge and Mopar probably have displays in Vegas at SEMA and at the Mopar Nats, etc. But what about the other 98% of us enthusiasts? We get nothing.

 

“Come to us! We will eat it up!

 

“It is incredibly easy for ya’ll to make this happen. Sure, you have the expense of trailering across the country and hotel rooms, etc. But really? Isn’t that a big savings over just another mundane advertising campaign?

 

“I hope you get the point I am trying to make. This is an easy thing to do that we would all love because of the special attention. Make it a point to go to Mopar shows in the town off the beaten path. Check out the cars they have.

 

“In addition to this meaning a lot to the grassroots guys like those of us in Amarillo Area Mopars, I think ya’ll would have a lot of fun in the process.”

 

As you can tell, Lance had a few things on his mind. And we took it to heart.

 

Fast forward to the whole HEMI Highway Tour planning process and we made Amarillo a must-stop on our route. Dedicated and outspoken Mopar soldiers just like Lance were exactly who we were targeting on this tour. We didn’t just want to hit the big clubs and big cities. This was about every enthusiast at every level with the same burning desire for Chrysler’s rich history of amazing cars.

 

 

On December 11, 2010 we visited Amarillo Area Mopars at Texas Dodge and let them crawl all over the Challenger and Charger. During our stay, we drove home the fact that it was Lance’s emails and love for his club that swayed us in their direction. We could have catered to larger clubs and visited more populous cities. Yet the kind of Mopar love we felt here was as deep and genuine as any place we visited on the entire tour.

 

 

Dodge did indeed go “Green.” Lance “Green.” Everyone should look to this group as a prime example of those fans who continue to breathe life into the Chrysler Corporation. Without outstanding folks like Lance and his crew, we would not be where we stand today. It is humbling.

 

 

Lance, we salute you, sir! We are proud to say we met you. Thanks for being you!

 

And then, to top it all off, Lance led us down to the landmark known as “The Cadillac Ranch.”
 
Discontent with the way things were looking, Heather and I decided to redecorate. Feast your eyes on our revisions. A GM product never looked so damn good.

 





  • http://www.amarilloareamopars.com Lance

    What an honor.

    I have told Scott and Heather this countless times since we were fortunate enough to have them come thru town back in mid December, a cold and windy mid-December day at that. It has been about a month and a half since the HEMI Highway Tour and we are still getting buzz about the event as members reminisce and folks inquire about the cars.

    Speaking on behalf of everyone in Amarillo Area Mopars I can honestly say everything went as I had thought it would in the e-mail (not bragging, just operating on the same brainwave as a lot of like minded people). This was a big deal for all of us and a great time. In addition to getting to meet two official reps from Dodge we had the opportunity to check out the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 and newly restyled 2011 Dodge Charger R/T before they were even out in showrooms.

    Despite the weather we were able to pull in nearly 40 Mopars from all eras and close to 60 people. We had Graham come 100 miles or so from Clovis, New Mexico, Kevin drove down 3 hours from Oklahoma, and Ronnie and his wife came up from Hale Center. This is exactly what I was alluding to in the e-mail…the passion for Mopars certainly is not limited to your typical locations.

    Those of us in Amarillo Area Mopars are just like the other little Mopar clubs off the beaten path and miles from the mecca in Ohio or excitement on the coasts. We set this club up as a simple way to unite area folks (and you can see the area extends a good ways in any direction!) that happened to be smart, classy, sophisticated, and demand both unparalleled performance and impeccable aesthetics from their vehicles of choice…you know Mopar people! We are open to ANY Mopar, from any era, and there have been and never will be fees associated with AAM. We pride ourselves on brute simplicity and grass-roots efforts…when the focus is on the cars and the great folks that drive them you really can’t go wrong.

    I can honestly say when I wrote the e-mail I didn’t know what to expect. I was passing time on DodgeCharger.com and stumbled across Scott’s post. It was cold out and not much was going on so I figured what the heck…

    Definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made to date, lol. In all honesty, I would have been content with a reply back from Scott that I could have posted up on the AAM forum…never in my wildest dreams would I have thought in a few short months that Dodge would green-light Scott and Heather to drive cross country and include a stop with Amarillo Area Mopars on the tour!

    As I stressed in the e-mail, I am just one of many, countless enthusiasts who loves all things Mopar….it is honestly a way of life. I have been extremely blessed and fortunate to come across so many like minded people around town and in the area. The e-mail was penned with everyone in mind and I am glad it came to fruition. Working thru the medium of old Dodge and Plymouths I can honestly say things are great…you meet some awesome people and hear incredible stories. Toss in the late model Mopars and we are an ever expanding group with limitless potential.

    I’m sure this is the same with all the stops, but I just want to say thank you. This was something that we certainly didn’t expect and will always remember. Texas Dodge was kind enough to open up the showroom and provide some bbq and the rest just fell into place…bring new 2011 Mopars to town, particularly the Charger and Challenger, throw in two product specialists with tons of factory insight and you are sure to draw a crowd around here!

    The presentations Scott and Heather gave were exactly what everyone hopes to witness when they enter a dealership. It is rare to find two individuals so passionate about what they do. We were able to drill them with questions and comments and folks got to go over every minute detail on the cars and snap pictures.

    For those of us at Amarillo Area Mopars this wasn’t just an event or sales pitch…it is a memory, with the keyword there being “is” indicating present tense. The HEMI Highway Tour won’t be some forgotten relic; it will be an enduring testament to add to our respective annals of all things Mopar.

    So once again on behalf of Amarillo Area Mopars we extend our thanks to Dodge for listening to the grass-roots folks like ourselves and gracing us with this event, and Scott and Heather for taking the time to make the stop! (Just so everyone knows it was about 40 degrees with a North wind around 35 and gusting to 50 mph when they decked out the Cadillac Ranch….best the caddys have ever looked though)!

    Sincere thanks to all who worked to make this happen!

    Lance
    Founder, Amarillo Area Mopars

  • blcd74

    Scott and Heather it was a true joy to have you come to see the AMARILLO AREA MOPARS. We have lots of nice Mopars and cover a large area. But we are real happy to have a leader like Lance. He has got our member off the sofa and working on their cars. We have a cruise every month. We love showing the other clubs in Amarillo that ours is all free and come have a great time with us. Lance is a firm believer that keep it simple and make it free. Other clubs said it would not make it. We have more cars than any other club at cruises and we all love Mopars. Lance has got us involved in several projects and it has been for the better for the club. We have about 4 to5 big events each year. But the last one this year was the HEMI HIGHWAY TOUR. We did not believe Lance when he said something big was coming to town. Scott and Heather thanks for giving the AMARILLO AREA MOPARS a primo stop on a saturday. Hope the tour can rerun in 2011. Lots of Mopar people to see in the USA.

  • SUBLIME

    Time to order your green challenger?
    http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f36/green-envy-now-open-ordering-50378/

    Why else would they post this story today about Dodge going “green.”

  • Kenny Flanagan

    Thank you once again Scott and Heather! We truely appreciate your stopping in Amarillo! I just can’t follow up the previous comments except to totally agree with them!

  • http://FratFratFrat Maragret Orbeck

    Wow, this paragraph is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, thus I am going to tell her.