Dodge Dart a sensation on Media Day at the Detroit Auto Show

The 2012 North American International Auto Show does not open to the general public until Saturday but the media was invited to the Cobo Center for a first look at the new models that car makers plan to send to showrooms this year. For Chrysler, their marquee release this year is the Dodge Dart. Chrysler's sales chief Reid Bigland says the re-introduction of the Dart signals Chrysler's intent to grab a piece of the compact car market. "The original Dart had a good run, we sold 3.5 million from 1960 to 1976, and right now the Dart is living large on drag strips across North America," Mr. Bigland said. The price tag of the Dart is $15,995.

General Motors is looking to improve on the phenomenal success of the Cruze with the introduction of two new compact cars---the Tru and the Code. Much of the interior design of the Tru and the Code is based largely on feedback from customers in their twenties, which is the target group for both cars.

Greg Dunn of Chevrolet Dunn says in addition to the Cruze, the Malibu helped his dealership to a banner 2011. "For us in 2011 we saw a 31% increase in sales over 2010 and we are excited about the new cars as General Motors has said they are going to introduce a new car every 6 months," Mr. Dunn said.

Special attendees at today's Media Day session inlcuded Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler/Fiat, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and Michigan's junior United States senator Debbie Stabenow. The Secretaries of Energy and Commerce are expected Tuesday. The auto show opens to the general public on Saturday.

More Information: North American International Auto Show