Chrysler said that it isn’t worried at all about the sharp drop in sales of the 2013 Dodge Dart in November, explaining that it’s merely teething issues for the new car and doesn’t mean that it is doomed. November sales fell 17% to only 4489 Darts sold. In comparison, 5,455 Darts were sold in October. Its latest sales are also 14% lower compared to the 5235 Dart sales in September.
With these numbers, the Dart is at the bottom of the segment. Chrysler sales and dealer communication spokesman Ralph Kisiel said that the 2013 Dodge Dart is still in launch mode and that sales are still slow since the plant hasn’t yet figured out which configurations (colors, equipment packages, engines, and transmissions) are most preferred by dealerships and customers.
For example, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hoped that Dart Rallye models with a 1.4-liter turbo-four engine and manual transmission will help highlight the Dart’s sporting Alfa Romeo heritage. So the Belvidere, Illinois, factory had built many units with these configurations. However, there weren’t many buyers. Instead, the demand was for cars with automatic transmissions and the 2.0-liter “Tigershark” engine.
Kisiel said that the automatics built initially were not enough but that now, the plant is building more cars with automatic and dual-clutch transmissions, which are more popular in showrooms.
Chrysler is coming to learn the colors, trim levels, and equipment packages that are in demand, enabling the factory to assemble cars that are more sellable. Nevertheless, there’s still a backlog of new cars at the plant or at showrooms. Chrysler data indicate that until the end of November, the automaker has rolled out 60,707 2013 Dodge Dart sedans but that so far, just 19,198 of those cars have been sold.