By on July 28, 2015

Canada Dodge Dart sales chart

FCA Canada only sold 220 Dodge Darts in June 2015, a 79-percent year-over-year decline. Through the first six months of 2015, Dart volume is down 55 percent to only 1,979 sales, one-fifteenth the total achieved by the best-selling Honda Civic and equal to just 1.1% of the compact car market.

The Dart’s market share in the United States, meanwhile, grew from 3.4 percent in the first-half of 2014 to 4.2 percent in the first half of 2015. Though no industry observer would suggest that the Dart’s U.S. uptick relates purely to increased desirability and demand – and not to cash allowances and fleet-friendliness – the car’s Canadian dive speaks volumes about FCA’s emphasis on light trucks and SUVs north of the 49th parallel.

True, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. outpost is also heavy on “light trucks.” But while 27 percent of the automaker’s U.S. volume this year is derived from passenger cars, just 13 percent of their Canadian sales are generated by cars.

Yet FCA has reported more Canadian new vehicle sales this year than any other automaker, even with a car division that’s lacking consequence, even with buyers unable to actually find cars (only 11 of the 634 new vehicles in stock at my three local FCA dealers are Darts; one of two local Honda stores has 126 Civics), even with their lone competitor in Canada’s biggest car segment flopping.

The Dart was Canada’s 25th-best-selling car at this time a year ago, but it currently ranks 46th.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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44 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Canada Loves FCA And Small Cars, But Not The Dodge Dart...”


  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I’ve rarely if ever seen a Dart around Toronto since its release three years ago now, so I assumed it was just as big a bomb in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      It feels like FCA isn’t even trying to sell the Dart in Canada. No stock at dealerships, no incentives.
      They list 11 versions with 3 engines. Maybe that’s a bit much? I’m sure some of those combinations have zero sales in any given month.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Cheapest you can buy in the States (barring rebates) with an automatic tranny is 18.7K.

    Seriously? How can it not be a stillborn disaster when it has to compete with Civic, Corolla and the Koreans?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Are you telling me that people aren’t eager to own a rather unknown, small, re-bodied Fiat which cost as much or more than Japanese competitors with decades-reliable nameplates?

      Whaaa?

    • 0 avatar
      pbxtech

      I bought one for my daughter for $15.4K. They threw in free oil changes too. The car is nice and wide. If it holds together, she will likely be a customer for life. We went to look at the Renegade, but by the time you optioned them up to air and auto, they were too expensive. She drove that and the Patriot, and liked the Dart hands down. I was hoping to wait until the mini pickup made it but the old Cavalier she was driving was coming apart.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Very few on the ground here. I agree with RideHeight, not a very compelling value proposition.

  • avatar
    Smaller-is-Better

    I think it also has to do with the fact that FCA does not offer leasing in Canada.

  • avatar

    There’s no AWD and there is no SRT version.

    Solution: You just buy a Chrysler 200 instead.

    Let me take that Dart, lower it, put a twin turboed 400…no…500 HP engine in it with AWD and I guarantee you I can turn those sales around.

    I’ll even put in a stupid Manual for the manual fanboys.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Look at a Dart and tell me how you’re gonna lower it and still get up parking lot aprons. Like lowering a Nissan Cube.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sorry, BTSR, the reason the Dart bombed has nothing to do with horsepoewr. It’s actually tied with the Mazda 3 for most powerful compact (and the Mazda that ties it costs a LOT more).

      Dodge didn’t sweat basic details on the Dart. There’s no compelling reason to buy it. Adding 400 hp would just make it a mediocre compact rendered borderline undrivable by a s**tload of torque steer.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I would have given it the NA 3.6, yea it may be ridiculous, but it could easily be a cheap option, and what matters the most is that it would create buzz and hype.

        A 6 cyclinder compact today, would definately make auto headlines. It would be good for business even if the 6 cylinder only sold 10% of the volume.

        400-500 HP would be a bit much, but 290-330 HP at a $1,500 premium, would be interesting to say the least.

        • 0 avatar

          The Dart needn’t exist if you have the Pentastar and AWD in it. And you’d need AWD or else you’d have the same torque steer problems the V6 Sebring had.

          The 200 answers more questions than the Dart does.

          Not to mention IT’S SO MUCH BIGGER – as I DEMANDED – but not so big you wouldn’t need a Charger/300.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “Let me take that Dart, lower it, put a twin turboed 400…no…500 HP engine in it with AWD and I guarantee you I can turn those sales around.”

      Sounds super affordable, and just what FCA customers want. It’d be FWD-based still, and ALL OVER the damn road.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I think FCA has to completely abandon North American B&C segment manufacturing or just give up on those segments in the USDM. They couldn’t possibly do a worse job of quality control in Mexico but they could conceivably lower their costs enough to be competitive.

    Because if they’re going to play in the same league as the Kaizen Kuzzins, low price is their only hope. There are plenty of Americans who will respond to that like cheap liquor.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    There are no cheap lease deals on them in Canada, and a discounted 200 comes close on price. So people buy the 200 which does sell well.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Actually, I disagree with the posters here talking about the Dart being a weak value proposition. It isn’t. I just looked at one with the 2.4, sport suspension and tires, nav and a sunroof – $23,000 before incentives. On paper, that’s far from being a bad deal in this class – you can easily spend quite a bit more than that on a similarly optioned up Focus, Mazda 3 or VW Golf. Neither is the Dart assembled poorly.

    It also drives and handles damned well.

    The Dart’s actual problem is twofold:

    1) Dodge has a lousy rep for building small cars, earned over 20 years.
    2) That rep is only reinforced by the Dart’s basic flaws, like an engine that sounds like it’s broken when you start the car up, the hood prop rod that burns your hand, the weird, overstuffed seats, the cheap interior materials, and some other issues.

    For this to be a true game changer, it had to be a knockout effort, and it is merely competent. There’s no compelling reason to buy it in this market, and that’s why it has bombed.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      $23k (minus whatever discounts) for a poor quality compact-ish sized car with a thrashy engine that isn’t any more efficient than a midsize Camry/Accord/Altima, and rock bottom resale? Sounds like a bad deal. Suppose with discounts that’s more so in the $20k ballpark, for that money I can find a Camry SE, a Malibu with a sunroof and fake leather, an Accord Sport with a 6spd, probably a decent Fusion SE, decently optioned Altima. The Camry and Accord in particular sound like much better choices from a resale and longevity point of view.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        That’s why I said that on paper, it’s a decent deal. That price point is perfectly normal for an optioned-up compact these days. The Camry or Accord you’ll get for similar money is the bottom-of-the-line model. Load them up with an automatic, sunroof, alloys and nav, and the sticker goes directly to the high 20k range.

        The problem with the Dart I drove isn’t that it cost $23,000 – it’s that it doesn’t justify its own price. Other compacts feel well worth that kind of money.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Like I said, an automatic Camry SE with alloy wheels, foglights (but no sunroof or nav) can be had for $20k all day long. My friend’s Malibu LT with alloys, leatherette heated seats, sunroof, and the Onstar phone app thing that lets him start it, track his tire pressure etc was also $20k even. And that is a very substantial (read: heavy), tomb-like, solid driving car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m with gtem on this one. That’s entirely too much money for a non-German and poor quality car of that size.

        The GTI starts at $24,700, by the way.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          A $24,700 GTI is a strippo two door, with no sunroof or nav. Load it up and you’re looking at $30,000, easy. Hard to compare that to a $23,000 Dart.

          But when you load up a compact – and this is true of the Dart or the better choices in the segment – you’re looking at about $23,000. That’s the going price.

          Whether you spend that on a compact or a stripped-out midsize is your choice. To me, peformance and feature content are more important than size, so I prefer a loaded up compact to a stripped out midsize. I really enjoyed the Honda Accord Sport, but I don’t like that it’s a no-options deal. Others might differ.

          A $23,000 Mazda 3 is an OUTSTANDING little car, and a Forte with leather and all kinds of options is too, if you prefer something more sedate. Either way, a $23,000 sticker isn’t outlandish at all for an optioned up compact these days. It’s Dodge’s fault that the Dart doesn’t earn that sticker.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Apparently you and I have different definitions of “stripped out.”

            Or did you miss this?

            “My friend’s Malibu LT with alloys, leatherette heated seats, sunroof, and the Onstar phone app thing that lets him start it, track his tire pressure etc was also $20k even.”

            2015 Camry XLE with heated leather seats for $20k:
            linkhttp://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/632633231/overview/

            2015 Altima SL with sunroof, leather, etc for $20,500:
            linkhttp://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/639309432/overview/

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      The Dart isn’t a bad car for what it is. It lives in that weird space between compact and midsize car land, kind of like the Cruze. You can get some decent packages on the car and something bigger than a 1.4L engine (for the time being), too.

      I can’t imagine a more catastrophic launch and an internecine competitor on the same showroom floor, too. The previous Avenger was a lot cheaper to buy than the Dart and big enough to be a true midsize. I think with the absence of the Avenger we’ll see more Darts being sold, at least in the US.

      But like others have mentioned, the new 200 becomes the new fraternal enemy in the showroom, as was the Avenger in the past.

      I don’t think the Dart can catch a break.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree Darts not that bad it’s really similar to the Cruze as mentioned much more comfortable inside then any of the other competitors particularly on a long highway trip. I’ve driven the competitors as rentals and my Father has a 6MT 1.4T Dart I’ve driven on a several road trips over the last 2 years. I think he paid around 20k for an SXT and that same car would be less now. It really is a comfortable car but for the average buyer I;m not sure it has much appeal over a midsize without heavy discounts.

  • avatar
    scott25

    I see a lot of them on the road, certainly more than current gen civics and Elantras (I can never comprehend how the civic is Canada’s best selling car anymore, I never see any new ones, but tons of 4+ year old ones) but I feel like most of them were sold in the cars first year on the market.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I was stuck behind one of these in traffic this morning, in the ugliest beige color I’ve seen in some time. I can’t imagine what Dodge was thinking, giving that car the full racetrack taillights, but the part on the trunk doesn’t illuminate. I know it does on higher trim models, but it just seems tacky otherwise. They should just leave it off entirely, but the car doesn’t need to be any more bland than it already is.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’m with you on the racetrack lights!

      The ugliest color I have seen in recent memory was just on Saturday evening – on a new Rogue.

      I have to find it and show you. It’s a disgusting yellow-orange. Sickly.
      http://www.berkshirehathawayautomotive.com/new/Nissan/2015-Nissan-Rogue-c9075e140a0a00657167c2a3a7e0746e.htm

      It is the color of White Castle mustard. Warren Buffet wants to sell it to you.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I like my Dart, or should i say “liked” my Dart.

    I mentioned on here my car’s engine died due to sludge. After a week or so of investigation by the mechanics at the local dealership, they discovered the oil cooler had a leak. The engineers with Chrysler instructed them to clean the sludge out and replace the hoses, but they couldn’t clean the sludge no matter how hard they “tried”. Finally Chrysler agreed to put a new engine in, but engines are on back order (there are no 2.4 Tigershark engines available anywhere).

    I’ve done some digging and if my car is still in the dealership 30 calendar days from the day it went in for the issue to be fixed, I can begin the process for Chrysler to buy the car back from me. That day is next Friday.

    If they somehow get an engine by next Wednesday, I’m getting my warranty extended.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      I’ve been kind of following your ownership, but I completely missed the sludge debacle. Would you buy another Dart after what you’ve been through? And thanks again for your real-world ownership experience.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        Honestly, I don’t know. Short of the engine mishap (and I am cognizant of the fact that sometimes things break, no matter what you do, a part will break and it’s no one’s fault), I have enjoyed owning this car. I think I’m one of the few in the B&B that has had good things to say about the car.

        I am turned off that Chrysler took so long to get back with the mechanics to advise them of a fix, then ultimately say the engine should be replaced, and then to find out there are no engines, I’m really wondering if I should ever get another Chrysler product.

        I mean, yeah, it’s cheap economy car, but I bought the car new, I’m a walking advertisement, I’m someone that could be getting other people into showrooms to buy this product or another Chrysler product. My wife and I were contemplating getting a Caravan and I kind of wouldn’t mind looking into a V6 Charger at some point, but if we’re left twisting in the wind on our cheap economy car, that kind of speaks to me about how they value their customers overall. And I totally get the guy that gets the SRT product should get his stuff taken care of sooner, but there’s more guys out there buying the cheap economy cars than there are the guys buying the SRT stuff. I’m the bread and butter guy, the guy that’s thinking about going back to Honda or Ford, or trying Mazda or Subaru, I’m the guy you need to buy your products. And I’m the guy you need to keep buying your products.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          The only Chrysler product I’ve owned was a ’96 Cherokee, and that was recently, so it’s a survivor. I’ve driven quite a few Chyrsler and Fiat products and honestly, I’ve been impressed by all of them. But – a lot of the people I know that own their products have problems with the vehicles and with timely service. I’m not opposed to buying a Fiatsler, but honestly, I consider their brand a reliability gamble, which is great if you get lucky…

          Japanese cars generally aren’t as exciting as American and European cars, but they’re easy to own and drive day-in and day-out which when it comes down to it, is probably the most important criterion for most of us.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Omer, I think people who haven’t driven the Dart have an easier time trashing it. I wouldn’t buy it, but the Rallye I drove (2.4 engine, tuned suspension) was actually quite enjoyable…a lot better than certain other cars in this class, for sure (think Tupelo, Mississippi).

  • avatar
    EAF

    Just slap a Hemi badge on it and moron fan-boys will congregate. J/p

    My sister owns the 200, so far I’ve loved every thing about it (Pentastar included) but already it has been in for some work. An irritating clunking noise up front, Chrysler replaced 2 balljoints. The trunk latch is somehow mechanically stuck so she has zero access. Washer bottle motor would be my guess as to why nozzles wont spray.

    Im just waiting for the valve seats to fail, that will probably follow shortly.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    FCA really can’t afford to screw up the ’16 model refresh. Switch up the engine/transmission offerings, add some content, and price them more aggressively.

    Any automaker with serious global ambitions can’t afford to phone it in for this segment.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Dart is just an upsell to a 200 or Charger, it’s not a good car or a good value. Outside of the ole Avis lot, I pretty much never see them driving around. Take for example the Nissan Altima, it’s priced pretty much the same. Not the best car ever, but certainly both a better car and value than a Dart. Heck, Altima probably gets better gas millage.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, in Canada, we know our small cars, and the Dart, all opining above to the contrary, just don’t cut the mustard. If it did, they’d sell more.

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