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For those who missed it.

From the Q&A at the NAIAS, Jan. 14 2013:

"The more difficult question that you asked is on the Dart, as to whether I'm happy with the way in which it launched and the answer is no. I made the comment today to the press, and I take full ownership for, at least, not the perfect execution that I wanted.

We decided for a variety of reasons, including the desire to prove that we can get phenomenal mileage out of the car, and we can, that we would rely on technology that is not common in the United States. And so we introduced a dual-dry clutch transmission on the car as part of the initial offering. The 9-speed transmission, which is going into the Toledo solution (Liberty successor), was unavailable when we launched the Dart. And so we decided to go with a manual, the dual-dry clutch; we did not have an automatic transmission solution to the car until later in the launch and there was really a remedial action because we could not access the 9-speed.

So the combination of the powertrain solutions that we offered was less than ideal. And so, it's slowed the progress down of the Dart into the marketplace. I'm still satisfied with the numbers that it's pulling. I think it could have done more and we're in the process now, once we deal with the demand requirements of the Liberty successor, to devote our resources to the installation of the 9-speed in the Dart and move it on.

I think we need to move that car one level higher in terms of offerings and I think at that point in time we'll probably see a better performance in the marketplace with the Dart than we've seen so far. The car is certainly over-equipped for the money that you get to be perfectly honest. It's a hell of a steal. You're almost getting a D-segment sedan for the price of a C. The car is there, we need to complete the powertrain offerings and I think we'll be fine."
 

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It's kind of surprising to me that they were relying so heavily on the 9-speed with what sounds like no real backup plan at the time. Luckily for them they had access to Hyundai-sourced 6-speed autos?

It does sound to me like we'll have access to the 9-speed with any engine option, much like with the Grand Cherokee and it's 8-speed.

He also hinted later in the presser about another diesel on this side of the pond this year. Fiat reportedly has a 4-cylinder diesel that meets U.S. standards.

Dart Diesel with 9-speed transmission and 50+ mpg on the hwy would be rather sweet.
 

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Doubt it would get that, at least by EPA standards. As well as that, the premium over the gas engiens in the US will only end up being cheaper IF and only if diesel prices were lower. Which they are not.
 

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Sir Moses Wellington said:
Doubt it would get that, at least by EPA standards. As well as that, the premium over the gas engiens in the US will only end up being cheaper IF and only if diesel prices were lower. Which they are not.
Oh it's definitely pie-in-the-sky. I was just saying that I could dig it, in a perfect world.
 

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I see no reason why a Dart diesel could not compete very well with the VW TDI offerings. I want a Dart as-is, throw in a diesel that will/should easily get mid-to-high 40's and I'm game. The VW's get easy mid-40's without trying hard, and that's with all of the EPA required junk hanging under it.

I'm tempted to get the Jetta TDI, but my heart says wait to see what they do with the Dart or Charger even.
 

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GM plans to sell a Cruze diesel in the US... Chrysler is going to have to do something with the Dart....
 

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They certainly don't drive like my tuned diesel pickup does, but that TDI I drove was pretty decent, even if it was an automatic.

I think Chrysler would be foolish not to at least SERIOUSLY look into diesels other than the Grand Cherokee and Ram HD
 

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I'm not sure to be honest. I've seen the TDI accounts for around 37% of Jettas, I think they are in the 8900-ish range monthly? Around 40k units a year?

I do know the TDI is getting more and more popular
 

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At some point it'll be needed, but IMHO, not now.

I think a lot of VW buyers get 'em because they all want to "be different" (or buy into the hippie thing from those polluting little vans). Either one would tilt VW buyers into diesels, more than the average.

Americans claim gas mileage is their #1 competitive decision-maker but I truly, highly doubt it.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
At some point it'll be needed, but IMHO, not now.

I think a lot of VW buyers get 'em because they all want to "be different" (or buy into the hippie thing from those polluting little vans). Either one would tilt VW buyers into diesels, more than the average.

Americans claim gas mileage is their #1 competitive decision-maker but I truly, highly doubt it.
Considering how many people buy trucks. :rolleyes:
 

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I don't want to give the impression that I'm knocking car diesels - I'm not. I just don't think that the automakers should just "jump in and make one NOW" because VW and now GM offers one.

If it was that simple, they'd all be doing it already.
 

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At what point, in your guys' opinion, would it be a good move to offer a diesel option?

The old diesels killed the name in America; remember the diesels GM put in Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles in the 70s? Junk. Europe is predominately diesel, they also are in the $8+ range per gallon of fuel.

You can buy a new Dart and probably lucky to get low-30s for mileage, or buy a VW TDI and get mid-40s. Don't get me wrong, I really like the Dart, especially the interior, but I just don't realistically see 40mpg.

Fully agree that mileage isn't the #1 factor for Americans; style and image is huge. Power still sells. Mileage is a niche market almost being forced on us, good or bad.
 

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A bigger fact is that to figure out just how much over the life of the car a diesel would save over a gas model required not only thinking into the future, but math. That scares people.

Another point was made in the Cruze Diesel thread. A Cruze Diesel at $25K is rated at 42MPG. A Cruze Eco with a stick at $21K is rated at 42MPG. Today, fuel by me is $3.82 for gas and $3.89 for diesel. In most consumers' minds, that would say "the gas model is cheaper." But they forget that the diesel is only available with the automatic, the automatic on the Eco is only rated at 38MPG, and the trim level on the diesel starts at "2LT", where the Eco starts at a lower level of trim. They essentially subsidize and mask the cost increase of the diesel with additional options that not everyone may want.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Stratuscaster said:
A bigger fact is that to figure out just how much over the life of the car a diesel would save over a gas model required not only thinking into the future, but math. That scares people.

Another point was made in the Cruze Diesel thread. A Cruze Diesel at $25K is rated at 42MPG. A Cruze Eco with a stick at $21K is rated at 42MPG. Today, fuel by me is $3.82 for gas and $3.89 for diesel. In most consumers' minds, that would say "the gas model is cheaper." But they forget that the diesel is only available with the automatic, the automatic on the Eco is only rated at 38MPG, and the trim level on the diesel starts at "2LT", where the Eco starts at a lower level of trim. They essentially subsidize and mask the cost increase of the diesel with additional options that not everyone may want.
Fortunately, I love math.

With a Cruze diesel and the manual Cruze eco, and assuming you actually get the same mileage, you won't save anything since there is a price markup for the diesel powertrain and diesel fuel will almost always cost more than gasoline. Further, in the metro Detroit area a price different of only 7 cents is very rare. Right now its a 35-50 cent difference between 87 octane and diesel. So you'll end up paying more for the car and for fuel for the same theoretical distance traveled.

If you consider the Cruze diesel and the automatic Cruze eco and assuming they get 42 and 38 respectively, we start to see some fuel savings with the differential in fuel economy. With the 7 cent price difference and the prices listed above, you'd be saving about 79 cents per 100 highway miles driven. With a 35 cent difference it drops to 12 cents per 100 highway miles. With a 50 cent difference, it's actually cheaper to drive the Cruze eco.

But these numbers are far from conclusive and have lots of assumptions tied to them. There's too many moving variables. Which car will achieve better real world or combined fuel economy? I've read all over the place that VW TDI owners are often getting better than EPA ratings. The difference in price between gas and diesel is constantly changing.

For me there would need to be a significant gain in fuel economy to choose diesel over gas from strictly a price standpoint. Although the added torque would be nice.

But I have a Dart, so I don't have to worry about any of this... :thumbsup:
 
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