Chrysler Group LLC held a company show last Monday to introduce to dealers the 66 different cars and truck model variations that will be launched by 2014. The show was led by CEO Sergio Marchionne in Las Vegas last Monday. Several dealers left the show confident that within the next two years, their lineup of cars and trucks will be more competitive.
Other chiefs of brands including Fiat SpA (Chrysler's majority owner) also attended. Two years ago, a similar dealer meeting was held in Orlando but only 29 models were presented. That batch was the first group of new models presented since its bankruptcy. As a result, Chrysler achieved 29 straight months of year-on-year monthly sales gains and an increase of the U.S. market share this year to 11.1% from 8.9% at the end of 2009.
Chrysler showed off the 66 cars and trucks on a two-tiered stage at the MGM Grand last Monday. Marchionne addressed representatives of 2,600 dealerships from throughout the globe.
Of this figure, 2,353 dealerships are in the U.S. Two Alfa Romeo models were introduced to the 178 U.S. Fiat dealers. Meanwhile, Chrysler dealers were presented with an all-new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan that is significantly different from the current version and has the same appearance as the 2013 Dodge Dart. The Chrysler 100, a subcompact, will also be provided to its dealerships soon.
Joe Dehner, Head of Dodge Design at Chrysler Group LLC, referred to the Dart as a dream to design. He noted that its Alfa Romeo-derived platform allowed Chrysler to pen an exterior boasting of splendid proportions and dimensions. The new Dodge Dart comes with a design derived from performance, as evident with its Charger-inspired 'racetrack' rear lights and new crosshair grille, as well as its piano black accents.
The new Dodge Dart dons a coupe-like silhouette with stable "body-in, wheels-out" stance – made possible by the long, wide and low dimensions of the Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) architecture that is borrowed from the Fiat Group. With this platform, it became possible to accentuate the fender formations as well as push the wheels to the corners – a configuration that gives the Dart its stable appearance. This allowed Dodge designers to stretch the skin of the Dart over the vehicle framework, resulting to a dramatic sculpturing.
Dhener added that designers were inspired by beautiful classic vehicles of the past while they were designing the new Dart. He remarked that these classic cars didn’t require unnecessary decorations just to be beautiful, as their beauty was derived from their surface work and presence. This inspired them to create a compact sedan that fuses incredible proportions, "aero-dramatic" surfacing and modern technology. Likewise, the new Dart features a quiet cabin that conveys a premium ambience.