In the 1980’s, the ill-fated Osborne Computer Corporation unveiled their new successor product to the media and consumers well before its planned launch.  Subsequently, the unveil sucked the life out of the current product and deteriorated the company’s cash position, providing an unintended case study for future generations on how not to launch a new product.  

Relating to the automotive industry, the wrong timing of a car launch can have this “Osborne effect” on the current model. In a rather inspired effort to avoid this fate, Dodge Chrysler has created the Dodge “Double-Up” program. This program is designed to help sustain current sales of the 2014 Dodge Charger and Challenger while also driving demand to the just announced 2015 models.

With this program, eligible leasees can get a 2014 Dodge Challenger or Charger for just 12 months—whereas a typical lease lasts 24-48 months. Those who opt for the 12 month lease will be eligible to upgrade to the redesigned 2015 Charger or Challenger with no money down and the same monthly payment as the lease of the 2014 model. The lease agreement even offers flexibility, in case you want the Challenger first and Charger next (or vice versa).

This innovative program gives consumers the option of getting a brand new car now while still enjoying the most relevant, redesigned, models a year from now. For Chrysler, it allows the company to continue selling its older vehicles without putting excessive cash on the hood. That has proven to hurt resale values, which in turn can affect the pricing of newly redesigned models of the same nameplate—leased vehicles often end up back in the hands of the automaker as a certified pre-owned vehicle.

This concept could be especially attractive to Millennials. According to Mintel’s Vehicle Financing 2014 report, 11% of Millennials say they plan to lease their next vehicle and nearly a quarter (24%) want a new vehicle with better technology. As Millennials become more dominant in the car market, automakers and car dealers that can come up with flexible lease and financing tools such as these will be in pole position in the race for consumer’s dollars.

For more information on Mintel’s new Vehicle Financing 2014 report, click here.

Colin Bird brings to Mintel a decade’s worth of obsessive coverage of the automotive industry. Along with historical knowledge and industry relationships, he boasts a deep-rooted love and passion for automobiles and for the automotive industry.

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