Fiat Chrysler slashes price of Dodge Dart compact car – USA TODAY
DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said today it is “repositioning” its Dodge Dart and is cutting the price by $1,100 or more for the three remaining variations it will sell as it tries to boost sales of the struggling compact car.
The Dart has been a disappointing car for Fiat Chrysler ever since it was launched in 2012. At the time, the automaker hoped the Dart would become a credible competitor to other compact cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
The car is a little larger than many of its direct competitors and was under-powered when it was launched. It also came in a dizzying array of color and option combinations that were intended to appeal to young buyers but made it difficult for dealers to predict which variations to order for customers.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne also said in January that both the Dart and the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan will “run their course” — meaning they will eventually be phased out.
Until then, the Dart will be sold as the Dart SXT Sport, Dart Turbo and Dart GT Sport. Currently, the 2016 is available in SE, SXT, Aero, Limited and GT variants.
“We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference,” Tim Kuniskis, FCA’s head of passenger car brands said in a statement. “The simplification of Dart models…makes it easier for dealers to order and stock vehicles that customers are looking for.”
FCA said dealers can begin ordering for new variations of the 2016 Dodge Dart this month.
The remaining three Dart models are priced between $1,100 and $1,600 lower than their comparable models. However, the starting price of the entry level Dart will be higher because FCA is eliminating the Dodge Dart SE, which currently starts at $16,495.
The pricing changes, which do not include a $995 destination charge, are as follows:
•The new SXT Sport model is $1,400 less than the current SXT model ($19,395 starting MSRP).
•The new Dart Turbo is $1,600 less than the current Dart Aero model ($21,095).
•The new Dart GT Sport is $1,100 less than the current Dart GT model ($22,095).
Industry sales of all compact cars have declined 5.5% this year as consumers continue to flock to small and midsize crossovers. Still, sales of the Dart have fallen dropped 32% so far this year.