Dodge Dart fans saw production of their beloved compact cease in 1976. The return of the Dodge Dart at the Detroit Auto Show signals a change of priorities for the US auto industry as it seeks to grab more market share.
Thirty-six years after it ceased production, it’s back. On Monday at the North American International Auto Show [NAIA] in Detroit, Chrysler unveiled a resurrected Dodge Dart, which is now a compact, four-door sedan designed to target pragmatic buyers interested in low upfront costs and long-term fuel savings.
The refurbished Dart is a sign of shifting priorities set by the domestic US auto industry. While two bankruptcies and rock-bottom sales appeared to shake the foundation that General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler once stood for – a reliance on large, gas gulping trucks and SUVs – the automakers appear to be directed to a steady comeback that is sustainable and tailored to what cash-strapped consumers ultimately want.
The combined sales of all three companies in 2011 increased US market share, the first annual increase since 1991. While all three enjoyed double-digit sales bumps, Chrysler had the greatest rate increase, jumping 26 percent over 2010, resulting in 1.4 million vehicles sold in the US alone.