Online new car configurators are valuable tools for shoppers and curious enthusiasts. Based on the website for the 2013 Dodge Dart, it’s valuable to Chrysler as well.
Automotive News (subscription required) caught the not-so-fine print:
“By building and personalizing a Dart, you will provide us with information on how you want to see the all-new Dart,” the site also noting “packaging and pricing information...is for survey purposes only.”
In other words and to some degree, you have a say in what the car offers in content and price with each option chosen.
It would be naive to believe this is an unprecedented move--by Chrysler, other automakers or any retailer with an online presence. Tracking site activity is fundamental, though such transparency isn’t so common.
And since the Dart won’t reach showrooms until the second quarter this year, every click on the configurator tells the Pentastar folks what to finalize and prioritize. So if you build your car online one day and can’t spec it the same way on a subsequent visit, or if the as-equipped bottom line fluctuates, don’t be too surprised.
“Some features may become unavailable at the time of vehicle introduction. Prices...will change before the official vehicle launch date,” the site advises.