FCA Killing Off Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200 in Favor of Trucks and SUVs


Could you imagine Ford discontinuing the Fusion? Or Mazda doing away with the Mazda3?

Of course not. Those are core models for the brands and it would be complete insanity to cancel them without an improved replacement ready to go.

Chrysler, now FCA, spent years fine-tuning its core sedans. The Chrysler 200 began life as the Sebring and has since become a respectable entry in the compact sedan market. The Dodge Dart resurrected a cherished name from the past and is the FIAT-based sedan that Americans hoped would arrive when the Italians bought out Chrysler.

The cars aren’t record-setting sales superstars, but they do fill an important hole in the company’s lineup. Not having an entry in the compact sedan segment is akin to suicide in the mainstream auto industry.

Yet FCA is doing the unthinkable: Canceling the 200 and the Dart, without any concrete plans to replace them.

Why is this happening?

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Cars Coming (and Going) Soon: Goodbye to Compass and Town & Country, Hello to SRT Dart

SRT Dart

In the category of things that are long overdue, let’s place this:

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that the Jeep Compass and the Chrysler Town & Country will end production. I’ll pause for a collective cheer.

While speaking at the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant, Marchionne said the Compass will continue to be built at the facility through August 2014, at which point it will be replaced by a new model. He also said the Grand Caravan will be the automaker’s only minivan moving forward. Marchionne also let slip his company’s intent on the development of a Dodge Dart SRT model, saying the performance-oriented vehicle is coming just as soon as they figure out how big an engine to put in it.

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Dodge Dart: New or Used?

2013 Dodge Dart

Dodge has finally revealed its new compact sedan, the Dodge Dart, at the Detroit Auto Show.

While the name follows the same retro trend as the new Challenger and Charger, the new Dart is not a new version of the original. Still, though, by resurrecting the old name, Chrysler is just asking for comparisons to be made between then and now.

The specs for the modern version are as impressive as the design, both of which come to us thanks to Dodge’s new Italian cousin, Alfa Romeo. The 2013 Dart, based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, isn’t anything close to a sports car, though. It’s a compact sedan aimed at the likes of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

Let’s compare new with old and let you decide: Which would you want?

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