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    Are Manual Transmissions To Blame For The Dodge Dart Slow Sales?


    William Maley

    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 william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Lack of automatic tranny would also explain the lack of marketing of the dart. Since most in this country cannot drive a manual, but with 70% now being built with an automatic, that should change and I expect it to with the auto being built and shipped out. Lets take the Sept to Dec as a real test of if the dart is a true competitor.

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    because nobody knows how to drive a manual.

    but honestly, hve any of you seen any Dart commercials or advertisements outside of a car mag? or even in one for that matter?

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    It's a neat little car, but seriously let down by the interior quality. I used to run around with a girl before I stated dating my wife, back in the bad old days of the 1980's. Her father loved the new Chryco stuff of 1984-1985. Forget which forgettable 80's Chryco product he ended up with.

    Every time I get into a Dart, I'm pulled back to being 18 years old and riding in an 80's Mopar product. And not in a good way.

    It's better than the Caliber, but so is a 400,000 mile Crown Vic Taxi that Lindsay Lohan has just Vomited in....

    Nice looking car....but I see a Focus ST in my future, or a GTI, or an FR-S/BR-Z, ....or the next gen Miata. Not the Dart. Not at 23K esp...with that interior quality.

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    because nobody knows how to drive a manual.

    but honestly, hve any of you seen any Dart commercials or advertisements outside of a car mag? or even in one for that matter?

    We've always had Manuals, pretty much....

    But I am thinking that I might actually buy an automatic, as my sixteen year old daughter can drive Manual but prefers not to, and I am not sure that my eleven year old will want to learn manual when the time comes.

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    I must be missing something because most reviews I've seen praise the interior. Sure teh lower trim levels are what they are, but by the time you get to Limited and Rally trim levels its a really nice place to be.

    edmunds seems to think so too.

    The Dodge Dart features one of the nicest cabins in its class, and it only gets nicer as you move up the trim level ladder. Whereas competitors just add leather upholstery or some fake metal trim to improve the ambience, the Dart actually slathers on extra padded surfaces, dash stitching and flares of colorful trim. To be honest, a loaded Dart Limited really doesn't feel like it belongs in the small sedan class.

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    Seems to me that the headline should have read Lack of automatic transmissions leads to slow sales start for Dodge Dart

    Just sayin'.

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    I hope the Dart does well. I will for sure check one out. But the exterior styling doesn't connect fully with me, and it's too much a reminder of the Neon. The interior has high points and stuff but then has the mismatched steering wheel.

    The Dart connects in a lot of ways, lots of options, lower trims well priced, interesting powertrains, space, etc. The Dart may end up having a slow launch and may end up being a word of mouth type of car. I hope the alfa bits hold up and don't end up falling apart.

    It's a better effort than expected for Chrysler I think, but they need to have good press and a strong launch.

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    Funny, the only Dart I'd consider would be a manual. I haven't been inside one, but poking my nose to the glass on several, and then running my hands over the leather seats in the showroom, I really like the Dart interior.

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    I must be missing something because most reviews I've seen praise the interior. Sure teh lower trim levels are what they are, but by the time you get to Limited and Rally trim levels its a really nice place to be.

    edmunds seems to think so too.

    The Dodge Dart features one of the nicest cabins in its class, and it only gets nicer as you move up the trim level ladder. Whereas competitors just add leather upholstery or some fake metal trim to improve the ambience, the Dart actually slathers on extra padded surfaces, dash stitching and flares of colorful trim. To be honest, a loaded Dart Limited really doesn't feel like it belongs in the small sedan class.

    I'll have to check the higher trim levels out, as I really like the exterior of the car, and the seats are rather comfortable.

    Good luck to Dodge selling this, as it is actually other than interior a promising product, I think.

    Funny, the only Dart I'd consider would be a manual. I haven't been inside one, but poking my nose to the glass on several, and then running my hands over the leather seats in the showroom, I really like the Dart interior.

    I'll check one out with leather, then.

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    I test drove a Dart Multiair 1.4T 6M a couple days ago. The majority of the vehicles on the lot had a manual transmission.

    It's a stylish looking car, but the powertrain really lets it down. Tons of turbo lag, lots of accessory noise from the engine compartment, weird feeling clutch, overly touchy brakes, and sloppy shifter. No rear seat headroom, either.

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    saw one today, didn't sit in it, but stuck my head in it and touched some plastic. rear seat leg room looked a little tight. door panels looked sorta spartan, dash had an interesting motif to a point but incohesive.

    Neon 2.0 is not my cup of tea, but for Chrysler it's a big improvement on the Caliber.

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    In my town they are advertising it as "with an unbelievable 58 MPG highway!!!!"

    And they have one with 58MPG stickered onto the side, ill get a picture tomorrow

    spoiler alert they use british gallons for the measure so it's 18 mpg above what it should be, and what it will say on the DIC

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    British Gallons.

    1 US G = 1.20095 US. G

    It's a trick, because we don't actually use british gallons so people assume this thing gets prius mileage

    The Canadian TV stations have ECOBoost F-150 commercials with 30 MPG* HWY on them in big letters

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    Darts are taking off in Seattle. Larson Auto Group and the over all Dodge dealers are showing off in TV commercials the Manual Dart and clearly telling people if you are into performance and want maximum gas mileage, then come test drive the Dodge Dart. They also clearly say they are taking orders for the Dart with Automatic tranny available starting in Oct.

    Does not seem to be stopping them from aggressively selling the Dart.

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    They really need to come out swinging with this...despite my critique of the interior, it seems like a great car.

    It's on my short list of cars to drive next time I am in the market for one...

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    Guest SFrancisco

    Posted

    I think the styling is really dated. They took a really cool looking Italian car and made it completely uninteresting to look at. It looks so much like a Neon from the early 90's. Are they kidding? The focus is running circles around it because it is a much better looking car inside and out. Oh... and that Dart interior is the worst part.

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      Volvo - Up 11.9% (7,723 Vehicles Sold This Month, 72,595 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
    • By William Maley
      Maserati North America, Inc. - Up 27.3% (1,380 Vehicles Sold This Month, 10.838 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Volkswagen of America - Up 24.24% (29,672 Vehicles Sold This Month, 285,719 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Porsche Cars North America, Inc. - Up 23.9% (5,513 Vehicles Sold This Month, 50,265 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Kia Motors America - Up 15.3% (52,504 Vehicles Sold This Month, 593,245 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 11.9% (7,723 Vehicles Sold This Month, 72,595 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 11.4% (51,308 Vehicles Sold This Month, 551,955 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      General Motors Co. - Up 10.2% (252,644 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,723,667 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Nissan North America - Up 7.5% (115,136 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,411,680 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      American Honda Motor Co. - Up 6.5% (122,924 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,477,465 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Ford Motor Company - Up 5.1% (199,441 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,361,426 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Toyota Motor Sales - Up 4.3% (197,645 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,206,359 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Hyundai Motor America - Up 4.2% (62,507 Vehicles Sold This Month, 712,700 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Audi of America - Up 2.5% (17,118 Vehicles Sold This Month, 187,018 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mitsubishi Motors North America - Up 1.8% (6,896 Vehicles Sold This Month, 88,884 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mercedes-Benz USA - 0% (33,490 Vehicles Sold This Month, 343,695 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mazda North American Operations - Down 3% (22,041 Vehicles Sold This Month, 269,019 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      FCA US LLC - Down 14% (160,827 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,051,796 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      BMW Group U.S. - Down 15.8% (30,696 Vehicles Sold This Month, 327,711 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)


      Jaguar Land Rover North America - 

      Brands:
      Acura - Down 5.1% (11,616 Vehicles Sold This Month, 144,212 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Alfa Romeo - Down 32% (23 Vehicles Sold This Month, 464 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Audi - Up 2.5% (17,118 Vehicles Sold This Month, 187,018 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      BMW - Down 18.2% (26,189 Vehicles Sold This Month, 280,339 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Buick - Up 16.1% (18,530 Vehicles Sold This Month, 208,343 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Cadillac - Up 14.5% (15,326 Vehicles Sold This Month, 148,560 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Chevrolet - Up 8.1% (169,675 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,883,551 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Chrysler - Down 47% (14,518 Vehicles Sold This Month, 215,196 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Dodge - Down 21% (34,075 Vehicles Sold This Month, 470,529 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Fiat - Down 15% (2,415 Vehicles Sold This Month, 30,136 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Ford - Up 4.5% (187,012 Vehicles Sold This Month, 2,262,493 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Genesis - N/A (1,306 Vehicles Sold This Month, 5,215 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      GMC - Up 14.1% (49,113 Vehicles Sold This Month, 483,213 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Honda - Up 7.9% (111,308 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,333,253 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Hyundai - Up 2% (61,201 Vehicles Sold This Month, 707,485 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Infiniti - Up 3.6% (12,112 Vehicles Sold This Month, 120,095 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Jaguar - 
      Jeep - Down 12% (67,285 Vehicles Sold This Month, 843,217 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Kia - Up 15.3% (52,504 Vehicles Sold This Month, 593,245 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Land Rover - 
      Lexus - Down 1% (29,050 Vehicles Sold This Month, 290,046 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Lincoln - Up 19.1% (9,429 Vehicles Sold This Month, 98,933 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Maserati - Up 27.3% (1,380 Vehicles Sold This Month, 10.838 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mazda - Down 3% (22,041 Vehicles Sold This Month, 269,019 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mercedes-Benz - Up 1.1% (30,363 Vehicles Sold This Month, 308,226 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mercedes-Benz Vans - Down 7.4% (2,564 Vehicles Sold This Month, 30,444 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      MINI - Up 1.4% (4,507 Vehicles Sold This Month, 47,372 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Mitsubishi - Up 1.8% (6,896 Vehicles Sold This Month, 88,884 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Nissan - Up 8% (103,024 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,291,585 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Porsche - Up 23.9% (5,513 Vehicles Sold This Month, 50,265 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Ram Trucks - Up 12% (42,511 Vehicles Sold This Month, 492,254 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      smart - Down 15% (563 Vehicles Sold This Month, 5,025 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Subaru - Up 11.4% (51,308 Vehicles Sold This Month, 551,955 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Toyota - Up 5.3% (168,595 Vehicles Sold This Month, 1,916,313 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Volkswagen - Up 24.24% (29,672 Vehicles Sold This Month, 285,719 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)
      Volvo - Up 11.9% (7,723 Vehicles Sold This Month, 72,595 Vehicles Sold So Far This Year)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen of America Reports November 2016 Sales Results
      Dec 1, 2016
      November sales totaled 29,672 units, an increase of 24.2 percent over November 2015 Tiguan sales totaled 4,516 units, an increase of 15.6 percent over November 2015 Passat sales totaled 6,441 units, an increase of 133.5 percent over November 2015 Golf SportWagen sales (which includes the  all-new Alltrack) totaled 2,174 units, an increase of 246 percent over November 2015 Herndon, VA — (December 1, 2016) Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) today reported sales of 29,672 units delivered in November 2016. Sales of the Golf SportWagen, which include the all-new Alltrack, increased by more than 200% over November 2015.
      November 2016 Sales
        November 16
      November 15
      Yr/Yr% change
      November  16
      YTD
      November  15
      YTD
      Yr/Yr%
      change
      Golf
                  1,340
                      774
      73.1%
                11,894
                18,066
      -34.2%
      GTI
                  2,216
                   1,963
      12.9%
                21,157
                21,300
      -0.7%
      Golf R
                     449
                      273
      64.5%
                  3,947
                  3,492
      13.0%
      e-Golf
                     305
                      472
      -35.4%
                  3,494
                  3,623
      -3.6%
      Golf SportWagen
                  2,174
                      628
      246.2%
                12,227
                13,112
      -6.7%
      Total Golf Family
                  6,484
                      4,110
      57.8%
                52,719
                59,593
      -11.5%
      Jetta Sedan
                10,212
                 11,021
      -7.3%
              108,023
              114,365
      -5.5%
      Jetta SportWagen       
      (now Golf SportWagen)
                        -  
                          1
      n/a
                         5
                  2,671
      -99.8%
      Total Jetta
                   10,212
      11,022
      -7.3%
      108,028
                117,036
      -7.7%
      Beetle Coupe
                     915
                      571
      60.2%
                  8,738
                12,067
      -27.6%
      Beetle Convertible
                     488
                      440
      10.9%
                  5,333
                  9,289
      -42.6%
      Total Beetle
                     1,403
                      1,011
      38.8%
      14,071
                  21,356
      -34.1%
      Eos*
                        -  
                      201
      n/a
                     387
                  2,751
      -85.9%
      Passat
                  6,441
                   2,759
      133.5%
                65,761
                74,611
      -11.9%
      CC
                     268
                      475
      -43.6%
                  2,863
                  5,643
      -49.3%
      Tiguan
                  4,516
                   3,907
      15.6%
                38,063
                30,943
      23.0%
      Touareg
                     348
                      397
      -12.3%
                  3,827
                  6,551
      -41.6%
      TOTAL
                     29,672
                      23,882
      24.24%
                  285,719
                  318,484
      -10.29%
      *Eos production ended in July 2015
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