For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Cuero, Texas, United States
To be honest, we're surprised something like this didn't pop up sooner. Chrysler is riffing on gift registries for couples getting married or expecting babies and cross-pollinating it with a social media funding website like Kickstarter to help customers buy its 2013 Dodge Dart. The Dodge Dart Registry allows people to build and customize a new Dart exactly how they want it, then let other people purchase some or all of the components as gifts.
The registry lets you add features like dark headlights, dual exhaust, various wheels and even interior options without choosing a specific trim level. This sounds a lot like the system Scion uses to let its customers configure cars, and this could be a great idea for Dodge. Of course, this system has the added benefit of being a social media affair for you to share with your friends... you know, so they can help pay for some of the parts, too.
The best thing about the registry is that you can configure your dream Dart from the comfort of your home computer, which strikes us as much better than walking around Bed, Bath and Beyond for the better part of an afternoon with an electronic scanner. The one thing that Dodge doesn't offer? "Thank You" cards. Those are on you.
In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit's business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered - and complained - that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles - which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger - are affected by the safety issues.
Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn't been updated.
What's not to love about crowdsourcing? This idea, after all, has given us Kickstarter as well Local Motors, but automakers are starting to use the social platform to sell more cars (or just drum up a little PR). Both Dodge and Hyundai have used "crowd-funding" recently, and while Automotive News is reporting that neither has racked up big sales with this gimmick, both automakers are pleased with the attention.
For Hyundai, it teamed up with website Motozuma.com to help customers crowdsource money for a down payment, and the automaker matched this amount up to $500. Last year, this helped Hyundai sell an extra 1,600 units, a fraction of its total 2012 sales. That figure is far larger than Dodge fared with the Dodge Dart Registry - it netted only two sales and a small number of individual options. This registry did help University of Southern California fraternity crowdsource $18,000 to buy a Dart for a local Meals on Wheels, however. Despite the low sales figures, Dodge and Hyundai are considering their crowdsourcing programs a success since it helped them connect with younger buyers.