Customers who visit Dodge stores usually are looking for trucks rather than small cars, so some analysts question how well the new Dart compact will fare.
But Sid DeBoer, founder and executive chairman of Lithia Motors, which owns a large number of Chrysler group stores, has a ready answer.
"Remember when the PT Cruiser came out?" said DeBoer of the retro-styled five-door hatchback that debuted in 2000. "Chrysler absolutely killed the market with that, and they didn't have any customers, normally, coming in for a small car like that. That thing just rocketed -- we were sold out, getting over retail for almost a year.
"I don't know that the Dart is in that category," DeBoer said. "But when they come out with innovative new products, people aren't loyal to a brand anywhere near like they were. They want the latest raging thing."