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Published: Wednesday, 10/10/2012

Monroe car dealer promotes new Dart, Wrangler

BY TYREL LINKHORN 
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Ralph Mahalak, Jr. of Monroe Dodge Superstore in Monroe, is offering a unique guarantee in hopes of promoting the new Dart and Wrangler. Ralph Mahalak, Jr. of Monroe Dodge Superstore in Monroe, is offering a unique guarantee in hopes of promoting the new Dart and Wrangler.
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MONROE — Mon­roe car dealer Ralph Maha­lak, Jr., is slap­ping a big guar­an­tee on two Chrysler prod­ucts, prom­is­ing to give buy­ers back their full pur­chase price in trade for more than a year.

Any­one who buys a new Dodge Dart or Jeep Wran­gler at the Mon­roe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Su­per­store dur­ing the week­long pro­mo­tion has a stand­ing of­fer to get 100 per­cent of their pur­chase price to­ward a new car trade through the end of 2013, as long as the ve­hi­cle has less than 10,000 miles.

The pro­mo­tion runs through the end of the day Satur­day.

“We’re do­ing it be­cause we want to launch the new Dart,” Mr. Maha­lak said Tues­day. “The en­gines are built right here in Mon­roe County in Dun­dee. We also want to sup­port the Wran­gler, which is built in Toledo.”

Chrysler be­gan sell­ing the Dart on a lim­ited ba­sis in June and has ramped up avail­abil­ity since then. In Sep­tem­ber, Chrysler sold 5,235 Darts, though sales have been some­what stron­ger out­side the Mid­west.

The Dart’s four-cyl­in­der en­gine is built at the Dun­dee Engine Plant.

The Wran­gler has been sell­ing well ev­ery­where. Sales of the sport util­ity ve­hi­cle were up 18 per­cent through Sep­tem­ber to 108,477, and the Wran­gler has risen to be Chrysler Group LLC’s No. 3 seller be­hind the Ram pickup and the Jeep Grand Chero­kee.

Mr. Maha­lak thinks there’s still an un­cap­tured mar­ket of buy­ers who lust for a Wran­gler but have held back be­cause of pre­con­cep­tions about the model’s sen­si­bil­i­ties as an ev­ery­day car. Chrysler has taken strides re­cently to im­prove the Wran­gler’s in­te­rior, ride qual­ity, and fuel econ­omy, and ex­panded its op­tion list.

“People can drive this as a com­muter ve­hi­cle now as maybe they couldn’t in years past,” he said. “You can get a Wran­gler, and six months or nine months from now if you think you need to get some­thing more prac­ti­cal, no prob­lem.”

It’s also no prob­lem for the deal­er­ship. Wran­glers hold their value very well, earn­ing the No. 1 spot in Kel­ley Blue Book’s 2012 re­sale value awards. The auto pric­ing ser­vice said the 2012 Wran­gler should hold 68 per­cent of its value af­ter three years and 55 per­cent of its value af­ter five years. The guide didn’t give a one-year val­u­a­tion.

Mr. Maha­lak also said the deal would al­low him to be among the first of­fer­ing used Dodge Darts. 

Though Mr. Maha­lak thinks the pro­mo­tion is a slam-dunk, he ad­mits he's been a bit dis­ap­pointed by the re­ac­tion half­way in.

“I don’t think peo­ple be­lieve or un­der­stand the ad,” he said.

The deal ap­plies to both cash and fi­nanced pur­chases. 

Con­tact Tyrel Link­horn at: tlink­horn@the­blade.com or 419-724-6134.



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