SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s numbers are a bummer

Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014

* AP

Poor sales of the new Dodge Dart have pushed Chrysler to temporarily lay off 325 employees at the Belvidere assembly plant that produces the compact sedans in northern Illinois.

Chrysler Group LLC confirmed the layoffs Monday, hours after releasing February sales figures showing a 37 percent decline for the Dart, the Rockford Register Star reported. The layoffs will last through the rest of the week and affect employees on all of the plant’s three shifts.

Overall sales for the company rose 11 percent last month from February of last year, but the Dart has failed to keep up with long-established competitors in the compact sedan market since its debut in 2012.

In a written statement, Chrysler said the layoffs were necessary to “to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Bring back the slant 6! Push button transmissions!

  2. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    The worker’s suffer when the boys in Italy decide to build a car to their tastes, but apparently not to American ones…

  3. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Today Chrysler announced it would be more profitable to lay off workers than spend money on advertising and rebates to push sales of their flagging Dodge Dart model.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    I have peeps who work at the plant. They’d rather be making Rams then Darts. Trucks are where the money’s at these days.

  5. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Man, my first car was a 1972 avocado green Dodge Dart and I LOVED that car.

  6. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    “Trucks are where the money’s at these days. ”

    Yup. for sure.

  7. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Bring back the Omni to Belvidere…and trucks.

  8. - titan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Chrysler has had longstanding issues with quality control and crafting fully modern cars. Fiat died off in the USA years back amid rampant quality control issues.

    The Dart’s segment is full of highly competent, very reliable, fully modern cars. Chrysler/Fiat are in a tough fight here, and it could go either way.

  9. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    From CNBC:

    “A combination of higher prices for new cars and relatively low rates for auto loans means Americans are borrowing a record amount to pay for their new rides.

    According to Experian Automotive, which tracks millions of auto loans written each quarter, the average amount borrowed by car buyers last quarter climbed above $27,000 for the first time ever.

    according to Experian, the average auto loan in fourth quarter 2013 was $27,430—an increase of $739 compared with the same period of 2012. The average used car loan was $345 higher, coming in at $17,974.

    Those (Buyers) with non-prime credit ratings—or credit scores between 620 and 679—had the highest average auto loan. For these borrowers, the average new car loan rose more than $1,500, to a new high of $29,385.

    Not surprisingly, those (buyers) with subprime credit ratings—credit scores between 550 and 619—had the highest average monthly payment, of $499.”


    “The payments are rising despite an increasing number of car buyers opting to stretch their loans over six or seven years. According to Experian, a record 20 percent of all new car auto loans in the fourth quarter were more than six years in length.

    J.D. Power said last week that February was on track to have one-third of new car auto loans last at least six years.”

    New car sales are on a downward trend. The numbers tell the story - new cars are increasingly unaffordable. And much of the ‘unaffordability factor’ is because other costs for potential buyers are rising.

    The Federal Reserve keeps printing money and creating more financial bubbles, these types of minor ’side effects’ are going to keep happening.

  10. - Union Man - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    They’re just an ugly little car. Who would by one?

  11. - fed up - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    HMM no Pat Quinn on Hand taking credit for this but, he was there 2 years ago when they were hiring. Interesting he wants credit for the good but distance for the bad real leadership.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Fed up, C’mon man. I am no fan of PQ but he can’t be blamed for the bad weather pushing buyers toward SUVs (Jeep up 47%) or that the Dart is not competitive in its segment. Ironically, the hot-selling new Jeep Cherokee and the Dart share a Fiat chassis.

  13. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    I used to buy all Chrysler products until about 6 years ago, when they started having their transmission and electrical controls crap out at about 90,000 miles. Since then I’ve bought Lexus ES 330s (2006), and RX350 (2008) and Toyota Sienna(2009) and another Lexus Sedan (2010). Each one has performed better than any Chrysler I’ve ever owned and bought new (I bought the Lexus and Sienna Certified Pre-owned), even at over 100,000 miles on the 2006.

    Maybe it’s the fallout of more of the vehicle costs going to employee retiree pensions and healthcare instead of making better vehicles, but the Chryslers just aren’t worth it anymore.

    I didn’t leave them. They left me.

  14. - iThink - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    “a record 20 percent of all new car auto loans in the fourth quarter were more than six years in length.”

    As more and more people slip out of the middle class they are using debt to try and maintain a middle class lifestyle. The banks make a ton, the investor class makes a ton (Rauner), the rest of us slide into the poor house.

  15. - fed up - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Arthur Andersen,

    Not blaming Quinn for the car, just pointing out he was there in good times but not bad. He liked the photo op and the over inflated jobs claim in feb 2012, but is silent today.

  16. - Rod - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Its really sad that the Belvidere assembly plant got stuck with the new Dart, which is really slow car. Here is one very ugly commentary from a Dart owner:

    “There are not enough characters allowed on this to describe my distain for this vehicle. Engine malfunction light came on in 200 miles. It is a faulting oil pressure sensor, they replaced and the light is still coming on. They are waiting for a software update that they “hope” will fix the problem. Computer sometimes prohibits the car from accelerating over 4000 rpms. No fix. They don’t know what is wrong. Again hope for a software fix. This is a real safety concern to me. In cold weather the battery light dings and flashes on the dash annoyingly, again they hope a software updated can fix it.. We are now going through the lemon law process. I refuse to pay over $18k for a broken new car.”

    I think it is still making the Jeep Patriot and Compass at Belvidere which have had strong sales because they are so cheap and still have the standard warranty. There are rumors these two cheap Jeeps will be phased out.

  17. - davidh - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    “New car sales are on a downward trend”

    Sorry, demonstrably false: “Based on an AutoData estimate, light vehicle sales were at a 15.34 million SAAR in February. That is up slightly from February 2013, and up 1.8% from the sales rate last month.” Read more at

    Please don’t make stuff up.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Chicago police have also been having trouble with some of their recently purchased Chrysler vehicles.

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    U.S. auto sales are at a six-year high.

    I’m with AA: I’d buy new shoes before I’d ever drive a Dart. I ain’t blaming that dog on Quinn. They’re trying to grab the Ford Focus market, and it ain’t working.

    But he gets points for keeping that Belvidere plant humming. And the Ford plant on the South Side, too.

    I’m not a fan of corporate welfare, but those are real jobs that put bread on the table.

    In Belvidere, hopefully, they’ll retool for Rams or mini-vans, which is Chryslers bread-and-butter.

    Or Chargers. How about a retro Charger? I’d buy one.

  20. - What is to bo done? - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    I used to have a Dart, quality in every part, baby that’s a Dodge.

  21. - Linebacker II - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 5:25 pm:

    The Dodge Dart is a crappy car, as are most Chrysler products. Wish Illinois had a Honda plant instead.

  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 5:40 pm:

    –The Dodge Dart is a crappy car, as are most Chrysler products. Wish Illinois had a Honda plant instead.-

    Meh, the Dart’s a loser, but you’re an anti-UAW and anti-American fool.

    Got no use for you, here, cousin, among us Yankees in the Midwest. You know, the people who have been carrying your load since 1789.

    Go back to Dixie and let the foreign car makers hose you. I guess you like it that way.

  23. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 6:43 pm:

    It is too soon to call it a loser. It was forced to compete against another Dodge product and after the Avenger is gone, the Dart sales will be fine.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Here we go...
* Question of the day
* Kirk's confidence
* Unclear on the concept; And pot, meet kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** The supreme power of video
* More lip service
* A union overreach?
* Duckworth fires back against Zopp for "cheap political" shot
* Republicans side with unions in court case
* Rauner pushes Gaming Board to back off fantasy sports site issue
* No known impact of Rauner opposition to refugees
* Benton circulating against McCann
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* How To Choose the Best Smartphone for The Holidays
* BlackBerry Androids “wouldn’t be a once-off”
* Lumia 950 XL pre-orders in the US now shipping
* Alphabet is cracking down on the spending of subsidiaries
* Apple Watch burn leaves grill marks on man’s wrist
* Shazam update brings faster recognition, more info, easier sharing
* Add some style to your wearables with the Helena Necklace and Helena Bracelet for Misfit Flash

* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* White Sox acquire RHP Tommy Kahnle from Rockies for RHP Yency Almonte
* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* KBO's Jae-gyun Hwang can be posted after all
* White Sox Charities all about opportunities
* White Sox add Aaron Rowand to minor-league development staff
* White Sox tab Rowand as Minors instructor


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address Syrian.....
* Durbin Wants Rauner to Meet Some Refugees - Alt.....
* Progress on Governor's Mansion Rehab - Alton Da.....
* CAPITAL FACTS: Madigan: Color him relentless - .....

* N. Illinois University removes Bibles from campus hotel
* Bridge connecting St. Louis, East St. Louis set to reopen
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Convictions upheld for man guilty of killing 5 in family
* Congressional hopeful rejected by GOP in '14 running again
* Judge rejects reinstating murder charges against mother
* EXCHANGE: Freeport historian pens second novel
* Excerpts from recent editorials by newspapers in Illinois
* Collinsville officials approve residential chicken ordinance
* Police offer tips to avoid pickpockets, other thieves

* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage
* Rauner says White House promises to answer refugee queries
* More honors for Auburn woman who saved man from train

* Release of police-shooting video ignites street protests
* Now arriving at O'Hare and Midway: Uber
* Illinois, you haven't touched bottom yet
* Chicago struggles to auction off taxi medallions
* The maker of Beanie Babies is about to air its first-ever TV ad

* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder
* Mihalopoulos: Laquan McDonald video could define state’s attorney’s race
* Patrick Kane’s point streak nearing historic levels
* Uber cleared to serve O’Hare, Midway airports
* McCarthy: “Nonsense” to claim his firing of Dante Servin was politically timed
* Quickie quiz: Only player to score goal at United Center, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field?
* Black Caucus chairman: What took Alvarez so long to file charges?
* Veljko Paunovic announced as new Fire coach
* Blackhawks unveil Stadium Series uniforms

* Shooting video latest stain on Chicago's policing record
* 5 shot in separate shootings on the South Side
* Release of Laquan McDonald video sends protesters onto Chicago streets
* A moment by moment account of what the Laquan McDonald video shows
* Chicago releases dash-cam video of fatal shooting after charging cop with murder

* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election

* Perfect beginning for women's hoops
* Tate: Groce up in arms about defense
* Running back commits
* Tuesday's highlights: Central's Finke falls in debut
* Richey: Illinois win was never in doubt
* UPDATED: Mahomet trustees vote to repeal video gaming ban
* Candidate filings: Dem for 13th, Rietz for fourth term
* LIVE! Tennessee State
* UI Women vs. Tennessee State
* Men's gymnasts ranked sixth

* Video shows Chicago cop shooting teen after he had fallen
* Wheeling police chief retiring; Prospect Hts. top cop to take helm
* Gurnee may lend financial hand to visitors bureau
* Mundelein trustee tells residents complaining about snow removal to 'drive less'
* Bears rookie receiver Kevin White cleared for practice

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address S......
* Durbin Wants Rauner to Meet Some Refugees ......
* Durbin, Murphy, Blumenthal, and 21 Other S......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* 4635 Broadway Begins Its Renovation
* A violent overtone to this week of thanks; will it be ugly Black Friday?
* Random thoughts.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Tuesday filing, unfiling update
* Mid-century modern homes in Chatham
* Watch the Organization
* Kinney, Alonzo take part in recognition ceremony in San Diego
* Uptown United's Having A Party (But You Need To RSVP)
* Register for GRI by Nov. 25!

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller