If you had the ability to move the Dodge Caliber in volume, then you deserve preferential treatment. Or, so goes Chrysler’s thinking. While not bad on the exterior, the Caliber was a very uncompetitive product overall. It was marginally better than the Neon it replaced. It went out of production in late December, and as of today 2,200 units still sit on dealer lots. Ouch.
With the new 2013 Dart, Dodge has finally gotten a competitive small car. We still think it should have had more Alfa Romeo influence, but we can’t change what’s been and gone. Automotive News has revealed that Chrysler will be allocating shipments of the Dart based on sales of the Caliber.
Last week, Chrysler opened up the dealer order book. With gas prices hovering at high levels, we’d imagine that truck and SUV-heavy Dodge dealers are eager to get their hands on the car. Demonstrators for ride-and-drives and the like are said to be arriving at dealers in late June, with deliveries of production models slated to follow in late July or early August. Late last month, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said the car was experiencing some production problems.
He didn’t detail what they were exactly, but said that Chrysler would take the time needed to resolve the issues. For dealers sake, hopefully the car doesn’t get delayed any further. It is already missing one of the peak selling seasons as it is. Worse though would be a problem-plagued launch, so it is imperative they get it right. If the delays weren’t happening we would have seen deliveries begin in full force this month. The official start of production began in May. In the meantime, Dodge has launched a configuration tool for the Dart. The car starts out at $16,790 and goes up to about $27,000 for the loaded model.