Dodge Dart returns at Detroit Auto Show, 36 years after ceasing production
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.
(Page 2 of 2)
How is this happening? Through an emphasis on having strong models in the compact and midsize segments, as much as the luxury, large trucks, and SUV segments that have sustained the industry for years.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“Today the automakers are intent on having big complete model portfolios, more than they had in the past. So if gas prices go to $4 a gallon, they are ready with cars that fit that need, and if gas prices go to $1 a gallon, you can still compete and not have to worry so much on external factors,” says Ms. Caldwell.
By the end of this year, all three automakers will have unveiled a range of compact and midsize vehicles.
Examples include the revamped, luxury-minded Ford Fusion, Chevrolet’s hybrid model of the Malibu Eco, and the Cadillac ATS, a compact sedan designed to compete with luxury brands from Mercedes and BMW. The hope is that the new models launched at NAIA will take advantage of slipping sales of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, two of the best-selling vehicles in the US market.
The US market is expected to continue growing this year. According to economists presenting at the annual Society of Automotive Analysts conference in Detroit Sunday, unit sales for light trucks and cars are expected to total between 13.5 million to 14 million; last year sales reached 12.8 million, a 10 percent increase from 2010.
Even though sales are growing in Brazil, India, and China, as well as in Europe, the US market is poised for the most significant growth due to pent-up demand, stiffening used car prices, and rising gas prices.
Get daily or weekly updates from CSMonitor.com delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.