Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
August 30, 2012
Sales of the Dodge Dart have been lackluster. For the first two months, Dodge has only sold 974 Darts. This would be ok if the Dart was a high-end luxury vehicle, not a vehicle competing in the highly contested compact market.
Dealers say the reason for the slow sales is the majority of Darts being equipped with a manual transmission.
"We were just told that [the automatics] weren't ready yet.We were a little surprised by it," Mr. Kelleher added. "We're a little bit out of the water with stick [shifts]. We sell so few of them," said David Kelleher, owner of a Chrysler dealership in Glen Mills, Pa.
"A great majority of our customers who walk by the Dart are declining the manual," said Tamara Darvish, vice president of Darcars Automotive Group, a chain of 34 new-car franchises based in Silver Spring, Md.
Reid Bigland, Dodge's chief executive explained that Chrysler began building the manual-transmission Darts to get the factory ramped up, but it has now added automatics to the line. Bigland says that 70% of Darts being built are equipped with the automatic.
Bigland goes on to say that the company expects to sell 3,000 Darts for August.
Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.