Sales of the new Dodge Dart have been lackluster so far, moving only 974 units in its first two months on the market, and the blame is being placed directly on the manual transmission.
The first batch of the Dart released to dealers came equipped with a shift-it-yourself gearbox, and around a $23,000 price tag. This is driving people away from picking one up right away, especially because the “Aero” Dart, which is expected to return 41 MPG, will be coming soon enough with an automatic transmission.
Dodge CEO Reid Bigland claims that the Dart is following a plan to ensure its production quality and safety, and says that the “Aero” trim Darts are starting production sometime this quarter. Once the fuel efficient automatic versions of the Dart hit the showroom, sales should begin to pickup.
Read AutoGuide’s review of the 2013 Dart here.