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Chrysler Group production rose 5% in June, though though the total output in the first half of 2013 is still slightly behind that of the first six months of 2012, primarily due to the impact of the discontinued Jeep Liberty. Factoring out the Liberty, June production would have been up 11.5% and first-half production would be up 5.6%. The big news is the addition of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee to the production report. 882 Cherokees left the line in June, on their way to dealers as the market watches to see how consumers respond to the totally new Jeep. There was a big surge in Jeep production. Factoring out the Liberty, 23.7% more Jeeps left the line last month than were built in June 2012. Patriot output rocketed up 88.4%, the largest production increase of any Chrysler Group model. The only model to pull a reduced schedule was..

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Automated System
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Chrysler Group production rose 5% in June, though though the total output in the first half of 2013 is still slightly behind that of the first six months of 2012, primarily due to the impact of the discontinued Jeep Liberty. Factoring out the Liberty, June production would have been up 11.5% and first-half production would be up 5.6%. The big news is the addition of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee to the production report. 882 Cherokees left the line in June, on their way to dealers as the market watches to see how consumers respond to the totally new Jeep. There was a big surge in Jeep production. Factoring out the Liberty, 23.7% more Jeeps left the line last month than were built in June 2012. Patriot output rocketed up 88.4%, the largest production increase of any Chrysler Group model. The only model to pull a reduced schedule was..

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Based on most reactions to the Dart GT here, I think their expectations are set too high.....again.

The boost in torque is inadequate and the resulting drop in fuel economy is disturbing.....and we should pay more for all that.
 

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I think the problem with the Dart is it's so close, but just not there.

Many people looking for an economical car see the 1.4 turbo as too quirky, giving up easy drivability for fuel economy.
The 2.0 seems better for many but then you lose some economy without gaining a lot in everyday performance.
Then the 2.4 for the GT seems less than impressive at first glance for what should be the performance model of the line up.
Add in the fact that the ads seem to push performance and gadgetry over economy and you end up where the Dart is now - a decent car that needs some fine tuning and a relaunch I believe.
 
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As I have said many times before.......The Darts original marketing concept was flawed. The idea of having unlimited configurations ...turned potential customers into shoppers. There is no way the potential customer was ever going to find their Dart on a dealers lot . While they were thinking about "ordering their Dart" from the factory many ended up shopping other brands and found a nice import or Focus that they could drive home today.

The new marketing plan with new pkgs is a good start. The SXT appearance pkg is selling well. But alas the Darts biggest compettion still comes from within its own brand. How do u expect to sell Darts on a lot where you can buy a 283hp SE Blacktop Edition Avenger for under 20k when the average Dart sells over 20k?????????



 

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It just goes to show that a car that is neither fish nor fowl, is having a hard time making in-roads into the US market.
Sergio thought he had the US market figured out and could maximize his resources by using his Alfa platform under, eventually all C sized offerings. Yet the once panned Avenger, once made right, is now outselling the new wonder car.
In perspective, the Dart is the best selling Alfa ever in the US. In reality it should give Marchionne pause that the soon to be on sale KL might follow in the Dart's footsteps, when it comes to sales.
They made lofty predictions, overly optimistic boasts and ended up with moderate results. I'd say they are on pins and needles over KL.

The Dart was widely acclaimed before it hit the lots, however, consumers were ambivalent toward it.
The KL has been widely panned before it hits the lots, what will be the final consumer reaction to it?

Meanwhile, the old and maligned models of Chrysler, once improved, are selling great, and sales have improved for 37 straight months.
Sergio should learn from that and stop trying to cram his imported platforms down our throats.
 
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Erik Latranyi said:
Based on most reactions to the Dart GT here, I think their expectations are set too high.....again.

The boost in torque is inadequate and the resulting drop in fuel economy is disturbing.....and we should pay more for all that.
Well considering that the GT is less expensive than a 1.4T equipped Limited..... Also its a 2.4L so a drop in economy should have been expected, granted the automatic is pretty bad but its about the same as the Avenger/200 with the 2.4/6spd auto. I believe the 9 speed will make all the difference here....... question is, how long will it take before the Dart gets it.
 

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My one big flaw is they shouldn't EVER make any reference for any Dodge having anything to do with Italian or European anything. It can have it, just don't say it. The people who buy a Dodge want a Dodge. The average consumer won't know it has "Alfa Romeo DNA" and they should not point it out in advertising. Hopefully someone can figure it out sooner rather than later!

MoparNorm said:
It just goes to show that a car that is neither fish nor fowl, is having a hard time making in-roads into the US market.
Sergio thought he had the US market figured out and could maximize his resources by using his Alfa platform under, eventually all C sized offerings. Yet the once panned Avenger, once made right, is now outselling the new wonder car.
In perspective, the Dart is the best selling Alfa ever in the US. In reality it should give Marchionne pause that the soon to be on salel KL might follow in the Dart's footsteps, when it comes to sales.
They made lofty predictions, overly optimistic boasts and ended up with moderate results. I'd say they are on pins and needles over KL.

The Dart was widely acclaimed before it hit the lots, however, consumers were ambivalent toward it.
The KL has been widely panned before it hits the lots, what will be the final consumer reaction to it?

Meanwhile, the old and maligned models of Chrysler, once improved, are selling great, and sales have improved for 37 straight months.
Sergio should learn from that and stop trying to cram his imported platforms down our throats
I agree 100 percent. Sharing stuff is going to be a reality but DO NOT flaunt it in the Chrysler brands. Tout it in the Fiat brands all you want but leave it totally out of Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram advertising. It's bad enough that Fiat has control of the company to begin with. It should be the other way around.
 
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valiant67 said:
I think the problem with the Dart is it's so close, but just not there.

Many people looking for an economical car see the 1.4 turbo as too quirky, giving up easy drivability for fuel economy.
The 2.0 seems better for many but then you lose some economy without gaining a lot in everyday performance.
Then the 2.4 for the GT seems less than impressive at first glance for what should be the performance model of the line up.
Add in the fact that the ads seem to push performance and gadgetry over economy and you end up where the Dart is now - a decent car that needs some fine tuning and a relaunch I believe.
Exactly. It's frustrating actually!

Moparian said:
Well considering that the GT is less expensive than a 1.4T equipped Limited..... Also its a 2.4L so a drop in economy should have been expected, granted the automatic is pretty bad but its about the same as the Avenger/200 with the 2.4/6spd auto. I believe the 9 speed will make all the difference here....... question is, how long will it take before the Dart gets it.
If the GT had NSRT performance numbers nobody would complain about the MPGs. But because the performance numbers are not going to be that much better than the engine/trans combos already here, I don't see the advantage to it.

Meanwhile, I've been smitten by a certain white 300S AWD that a local dealer just picked up. Trying to resist taking it for a test drive lol.
 

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CJDsalespro said:
The new marketing plan with new pkgs is a good start. The SXT appearance pkg is selling well. But alas the Darts biggest compettion still comes from within its own brand. How do u expect to sell Darts on a lot where you can buy a 283hp SE Blacktop Edition Avenger for under 20k when the average Dart sells over 20k?????????
What worries me though, is if the Avenger is out of the picture will people see value in the Dart? Or look to another manufacturer?
 

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valiant67 said:
What worries me though, is if the Avenger is out of the picture will people see value in the Dart? Or look to another manufacturer?
If there is no Avenger, there are no more buyers.
Folks who think killing the Avenger will help Dart are misjudging the issue.
If Dart was the ONLY car on the showroom, sales would be about the same.
Buyer who want a Dart are buying it.
Buyers who don't, aren't.

Historically the European car looks sporty and under performs, or is quirky.
What is the best selling European C model?
It's most likely the Dart.
 

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MoparNorm said:
If there is no Avenger, there are no more buyers.
Folks who think killing the Avenger will help Dart are misjudging the issue.
If Dart was the ONLY car on the showroom, sales would be about the same.
Buyer who want a Dart are buying it.
Buyers who don't, aren't.

Historically the European car looks sporty and under performs, or is quirky.
What is the best selling European C model?
It's most likely the Dart.
There are people that are going in looking at a Dart when they are steered towards an Avenger for one reason or another. I have no "proof" or figures to back this up, but I don't think that the Dart sales are going to balloon as soon as the Avenger is (needlessly) killed.
 

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My experience when stopping at a dealership to look at a Dart last year was the salesmen explaining that for about the same cost I can have a bigger Avenger. I felt like he was trying to push me towards the Avenger when I really liked the Dart. I have had a Dart for six months and still love how it drives.
 

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The Dart is a failure. Let's accept it and understand it so the mistakes can be avoided in the future. There are many marketing mistakes and some engineering mistakes. We don't have to rehash those here.

One reason Chrysler was given to Fiat was to bring fuel efficiency and small car manufacturing to an American brand. Dart is not doing that in a meaningful way. Sure, we have a 41 mpg Aero.....with a manual transmission (less than 10% take rate in the US). The first Darts were manual transmissions. It was like somebody was forcing European transmissions (40-50% manual) onto American consumers.

The Fiat 500 is simply taking an existing European vehicle, modifying it a bit for the NAFTA market and building it here. Nothing special.

The KL is an abomination of flex manufacturing. It seems like someone explained flex to Sergio without telling him the drawbacks/compromises in platform sharing. He seems to think (exaggeration) that one platform can build a whole lineup from A-class to E-class, SUVs, pickups, minivans and Vipers.

So, where does this leave us right now?

The next vehicle we will see is the Chrysler 200, also based on the CUSW. Will it be too Euro-centric for American tastes? Ford learned this lesson with the long-defunct Merkur division.

Sergio is a brilliant executive who is a smart negotiator. Perhaps when he negotiates with engineers/marketing he is too powerful and they quickly aquiesce to his Euro-view of the market.
 
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The reality is this, Sergio is 0 for 2 here. The 500 production is being moved back to Italy, having served its function of getting Fiat a larger percentage of Chrysler.
The Dart is less than stellar, greeted lukewarm by consumers. It's currently 30,000 units short of breaking even.
Will KL be the third strike?

Meanwhile, those old antiquated dinosaurs known as Dodge Ram, Wrangler, 200, Avenger and others are gaining market share.
 

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Dr. Z said:
"He seems to think (exaggeration) that one platform can build a whole lineup from A-class to E-class, SUVs, pickups, minivans and Vipers."

And yet Volkswagen is consistently praised for doing essentially the same thing.
Curious, what are Volkswagen sales in the US?
What is the best selling European car in the US?
The Dart has to be close?
 

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Dr. Z said:
Volkswagen is generally believed to be on target to the world's largest automaker in 2016. They might be minor in the US but they are everywhere. Don't ask me how or why.
Im aware of that, I was wondering the number of those "minor" US sales.
The Dart is doing as well as can be expected for a "European" car in the US.
The Fords noted above have more in common with Asian cars, regardless of their roots. The Dart doesn't have that influence.
 
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