Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest – with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
The fact that the Dart's launch has been a pretty dismal affair isn't what we'd call secret. Judging by its mounting inventories and poor critical reception, Dodge's successor to its unloved Caliber has struggled since it hit the market. And while both of those are difficult problems to address, at least their cause is well known - the powertrain.
Chrysler has announced that it will recall some 14,800 Dodge Dart compacts due to a potential stalling issue. The Auburn Hills-based automaker says that select 2013 model year sedans equipped with its 1.4-liter Multiair four-cylinder engine and dual-clutch transmission may need to have their engine control modules remapped.
According to Automotive News, Chrysler is hoping Fast & Furious 6 will be kind to the Dodge Dart. While the compact sedan doesn't actually show up in the film, Dodge has partnered up with the movie franchise for a new ad featuring the Dart.
To be honest, we're surprised something like this didn't pop up sooner. Chrysler is riffing on gift registries for couples getting married or expecting babies and cross-pollinating it with a social media funding website like Kickstarter to help customers buy its 2013 Dodge Dart. The Dodge Dart Registry allows people to build and customize a new Dart exactly how they want it, then let other people purchase some or all of the components as gifts.
November was a rough month for the Dodge Dart. All told, Chrysler managed to deliver 4,489 units, down from 5,455 in October, but perhaps more telling is the sizable inventory Dodge now has on hand. Chrysler added a third shift to the Belvidere, Illinois plant that produces the new compact in order to satiate projected demand, and as a result, Dodge now has a 112-day supply of Dart models. That equates to 23,446 units waiting for a new home. Automakers typically average a supply of around 73 day