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Is this the future of the Dodge Dart?

Discussion in 'Dodge Dart / Viaggio' started by Dave Z, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    The Dodge Dart will die in September. Long live the Dodge Dart. The Fiat Viaggio, essentially a Dart with a lower-cost suspension (hatchback, too, with Ottimo), will soon enter its second generation. Could the Viaggio be that Dart replacement we’ve heard about? Perhaps, this time, including the “Ottimo” hatchback form? If the 2018 Dodge Dart came in early-to-mid 2017, it would come just as the current stockpile of Darts was sold out. Volvo and GM have both shown that Americans have no compunction […]
    Read the whole post here.
     
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  2. jken02

    jken02 Guest

    Thanks for the update Dave. We'll see how the replacement turns out. FCA needs entry-level cars...it's a glaring hole in their portfolio at the moment...and hopefully this new Dart will work for them. I agree that most consumers in this day and age don't really care where the car is made. As I've already said before, to walk away from the current Dart is IMHO a mistake...but, it is what it is, and if the Viaggio/Dart has been chosen as the way forward, hopefully the company does everything correctly: market/advertise it right, price it right, and stand behind it/service it so new customers are satisfied.
     
  3. NWbyNW

    NWbyNW Active Member

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    I thought there was no plan to replace the Dart or 200 unless another company could pick up production. Like, FCA, didn't even want to research in any new product... Pretty much stick a badge on it.
     
  4. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    SM used a terribly short-sighted argument that US companies used to use: Fuel prices are low now, so no one's interested in cars with high gas mileage. Which is untrue. They simply demand that and much more, unlike in the 1970s and 80s. If FCA gives up on a full line, they are doomed, IMO. Stick with it and win a quality reputation back, and there is good chance of having a good presence in that market. They don't have to beat Corolla to be a recognized presence.
     
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  5. NWbyNW

    NWbyNW Active Member

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    The Dart and 200 should not be discontinued. Their sales are doing just fine. The cars should be tweaked and improved until the next generation comes up. You don't kill an entire brands product line up. Once the 200 is gone, Chrysler will have two cars. Once the Dart is gone, Dodge will have no compact. No FCA compacts left, if you don't count Fiat which few people buy.

    Gas mileage is important. I get more requests from people then anything, that they are looking for a car with GOOD FUEL MILEAGE. But hey... numbers don't lie. Dart has sold reasonably well, nearly 90,000 each year except the first. The 200 sold exceptionally well, better then any Chrysler product in recent memory with 177,000 sold in 2015, a very strong first year for the new generation 200. So it makes no sense to end the best selling Chrysler product since the 90s, especially when it is a really good, and underrated car.
     
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  6. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    But they sold with big rebates, and when the rebates ended or were reduced, sales fell dramatically. So they weren't selling on their own merit.
     
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  7. Mopartial

    Mopartial Fits and Finishes
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    It will take a long time to improve quality of Fiat Mopars, but much longer to the acceptance of American motorists. That long journey is made even longer when models are surrendered instead of receiving a long-term commitment to improvement. As we have seen, GM and other makers will redo a model when there are problems, which is what FiatCA should do.
     
    #7 Mopartial, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
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  8. mikekrau

    mikekrau Member

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    The Civic, Corolla, Mazda 3 and the rest of these entry level cars didn't get to where they are over night. It took time money and perseverance. It was an investment by there perspective manufactures to get these cars up to there current level. In doing so they have garnered the driving publics trust and admiration. This in the end is what is driving there sales, not if we don't get the sales with the first try we're out. I myself was looking forward to the next generation. Oh well guess we'll have to wait and see. Maybe a hybrid sport truck...
     
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  9. dana44

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    And on top of that, if the Dart moves to some Fiat design, it's kind of start over from the beginning, again, scenario. If it is a rebadged or simply a Viaggio to replace the Dart it has to not only compete competently, but better get good reviews on top of it. Yes, the Dart got a lot of reviews, but it didn't have enough positive to be very competitive. I continue to hope there is enough experience in the FCA arena to do what is right, cheap knock-offs or rebadged Fiats aren't going to do it, whatever it is needs to have American standards of durability, performance/handling, fuel mileage (something Ma Mopar has not really been known for), and reliability.
     
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  10. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    It already IS a Fiat design.

    Again, if you can't compete on reputation, you have to complete with something else. All the additional techie stuff didn't really move the needle, and the performance isn't there (then again, how many would they have sold anyway?) - so the one thing you have left to compete on is price.

    And when you can't do that without losing money, it's time to reconsider.
     
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  11. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    They tried to sell the Caliber with refrigerated glove compartments and detachable flashlights. Some gizmos sell and some don't.
     
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  12. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    The heated/cooled cupholders didn't make that big of a splash either - in any of the cars they were in.
     
  13. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson New Member

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    Here is my take. I have an early production 2013 Dart SXT. I test drove the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic before purchase. I also owned a 2011 Chevy Cruze with the 1.4 turbo and have been unfortunately provided a Toyota Carolla as a rental on a business trip. The Dart is by far better than any of these. It is solid and has adequate technology. A close second was the Focus. These others are not up to par, regardless of their sales volume. It is a shame that the Dart is going away.
     
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  14. PCRMike

    PCRMike Well-Known Member

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    Mine was nigh flawless for the 3 years I had it. 2013 Limited 2.0
     
  15. geraldg

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    A guy where I work just bought a new Dart and when I told him they stopped making them he didn't believe me and the dealer never said one word about them ending production.
     
  16. Citation84

    Citation84 Well-Known Member

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    A company captures first time buyers with an entry level car. Their next next purchase may be a bigger one from the same company, or another product from that company, if the car is reliable, satisfying and a good representative of the brand's wares.

    Long term planning in short supply with equally short memories.
    There was no reason the Dart couldn't have been a springboard for sales of new, higher margin product from Chrysler, and a whole new younger demographic exposed to it's offerings.

    GM is a prime example of this sort of short term thinking: G3, Corporate mini vans, badge engineering just to have "something to sell in the segment" for their many brands.
     
    #16 Citation84, Sep 24, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  17. Citation84

    Citation84 Well-Known Member

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    I've heard it said that even Toyota and Honda lose money on their smaller cars, yet they still offer them. Because that's where potential long term customers come from. I know it's about FCA capacity, but personally, I'm just not in the market for a truck, SUV or minivan and I'm not a Jeep intender.
     
  18. JavelinAMX

    JavelinAMX Well-Known Member

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    .
    Well, perhaps we should take a page from their Books.

    Problem facing those of us here is that for FCA to do that, they have to overcome considerable negative press.

    They'd also have to overcome people here, for instance - and elsewhere, saying they've stooped to building Appliances.

    Yet, losing money on those smaller cars does alright for the health of those companies - and their quality reputation - over the long haul; because those companies are sitting above our Brands position. They're in the place where we'd like to be.

    Our other stuff really hasn't moved the needle all that much - true, there's evidence of a wee bit of hope. It's still us looking up at the targets, while those targets have been comfortably looking down at us and the rest of the field for a very long time.

    If you ever needed a bit more than a car, but not a full-on Pick-up, there's always a Ridgeline ( or the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz ); and it is likely more affordable than our stuff - who knows? Possibly even more fuel-efficient, too . We're not offering that sort of car-like Pick-up, yet.
    .
     
  19. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    The Dart also isn’t the right car to establish a small-car reputation, for various reasons, and I speak as an owner. It doesn’t blast the competition out of the water like the Neon (stick) did; nor does it have a more attractive, big-car feel than most competitors, as the Reliant/Aries did. It isn’t beating everyone on the numbers or in sportiness as the original Valiant did, for that matter. It’s a good car for the right audience. IMHO, they’d need to do a full-press effort to specifically fill that niche, without borrowing or rushing, preferably as a skunkworks operation — full empowerment, cohesive team, etc — but as a corporate priority — e.g. Tipo — would also work. The Tipo does what it does very well, from what I understand, as the result of extra time spent in engineering for that purpose. I suspect the Dart had mixed messages coming from the leadership in terms of its goals. To be sporty? To be economical? What was the #1 goal? Can you tell?
     
  20. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson New Member

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    I still think the Dart got a bad rap. It was not marketed properly. Look at the Cruze back in 2010-2011, Chevy marketed the heck out of that thing and it sold. I had one, it was the biggest POS I have ever owned, but I bit on the marketing. The turbo just couldn't handle Texas heat 6 months a year. My Dart is just fine at 65K. I have had no problems, other than creaking in the front end. And that just needed some good old fashioned grease. I think it is as good as any other compact out there, if not better. She is 4 years old now and I thought about a replacement. There simply isn't anything out there in the class that I like, but the Dart.
     
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