This is the Motoramic Dash, a daily roundup of the most interesting news in the automotive world
During tonight's baseball All-Star Game, Chrysler will air the first national television ad for the 2013 Dodge Dart, a long-overdue attempt by the automaker to scamper back into the small-car market. As an ad, the Dodge spot's not too bad -- but it says more about how hard Chrysler will have to work to even get noticed among a field of all-stars.If you're shopping for a small, fuel-efficient new sedan, you have a choice of nearly a dozen models, from the stalwarts like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla to appealing new options like the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra. Those companies also have built-up networks of owners who tout their cars to potential customers and dealers who know how to work with the kind of buyers who have limited money or less than sterling credit.
Dodge has none of these things. Its last stab at a small car, the Caliber, was a signature failure of the pre-bankruptcy Chrysler. The new Dart, built from a chassis originally designed by Alfa Romeo in Europe, will have a multitude of options meant to cover everyone from those shopping the $16,000 base model up to $25,000 and beyond. Simply getting attention requires a splash -- which is why this 90-second spot featuring Tom Brady, a Jay-Z/Kanye West song and more jump cuts than a scissor factory in an earthquake is trying so hard.
Other news from around the industry this morning:
Chevrolet offers return guarantee, "Total Confidence" pricing: Speaking of selling hard, Chevrolet launched two new enticements for consumers this morning. The first: allowing buyers to return a new Chevy between 30 and 60 days and less than 4,000 miles with the vow of little hassle. The second, "total confidence pricing," has Chevy promoting that many 2012 models will get a bottom-line price that includes all incentives. "So you can rest assured you're getting a great deal on your Chevy, with no need to negotiate," says the company. I for one would love to take up anyone's offer to relax during the car buying process -- but having bought a new car before, I say that's akin to unilateral disarmament. (Chevy)
Chrysler calls Swedish magazine's Jeep safety test flawed: And it seems to have a point. (Wall Street Journal)
Average fuel economy of new cars sold falls for third month: There's a simple relation between the fuel economy of new cars and the price of gas: one goes up, so does the other -- and when gas comes back down, as it has since April, so do the worries of new-car buyers about fuel prices, as if $4 a gallon never happened. (Automotive News)