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.
Joe Dehner, the Head of Dodge Design for Chrysler, said that designing the Dodge Dart was a dream. Using the Alfa Romeo architecture as a base meant the team could create incredible dimensions from the outside that gave the vehicle a fun-to-drive look. Then they added racing tail lights that were inspired by the Charger, a new, smooth, cross-hatched grille, and accents of piano black, all to produce a high-performing design that presented the perfect amount of boldness.
The Fiat Group developed a Compact US-Wide (CUS-wide) architecture that features low-slung, broad, and lengthy proportions for a firm body-in, wheels-out posture and a silhouette that resembles a coupe. The CUS-wide base allowed for accented fender format and wheels pushed out as far to the corners as viable, which created a very constant look and gave the Dodge design team amazing opportunities for some spectacular shaping. The designers pulled the car’s skin over its framework visually, like they were stretching nylon over a form.
The designers drew inspiration for the new Dodge Dart from the classic, elegantly designed cars of the past. Every vehicle was gorgeous, in its surfaces and presence, without the need for unneeded coverings, adornments, or lines to clutter the view.
With a fundamental design in position that had vibrant curves and lines at all angles, the team injected a touch of Dodge attitude in. The Dart’s face took on the undeniable Dodge split crosshatched grille, but still with a contemporary, smooth appearance that seems to float on the front fascia, giving the Dart the hallmark Dodge full mask.
The 2013 new Dodge Dart’s rear view can come with a full-width racetrack tail lights inspired by the Charger that has 152 indirect glow LEDs and segment-exclusive dual exhausts fitted to the rear fascia.