Dodge sponsors May 2012
luncheon and presents the new
May 15, 2012 @ Wynwood
Kitchen - Midtown Miami.
Over 50 SAMA members
gathered at the Wynwood Walls/The Wynwood Kitchen and Bar in Miami’s
Wynwood district for the May meeting, continuing a run of full houses for
our monthly luncheons in 2012.
Dodge was the sponsor and showed off the new 2013 Dart, which is the first
Chrysler group vehicle built on Fiat Group architecture and fills a key
spot in the company’s portfolio in fitting into the compact sedan segment.
“The compact car segment in the United States is the largest retail
segment in the marketplace,” said Product PR Manager Kathy Graham, who was
one of the presenters. “It’s roughly 15 percent of all retail sales and
before we came out with the Dart, we did not have a player as a sedan.
“We had the Caliber, which is a hatchback, but that’s only about 15
percent of the sales.
“So we’re really excited about the Dart and what it brings for sales.”
She noted that the Dart comes in five trim levels starting with the SE at
$15,995. The SXT starts at $17,995, the Rallye at $18,995, and the Limited
at $19,995. The R/T, which has a sportier suspension, will start at
$22,495 when it comes out in the fall.
Three different four-cylinder engines are offered, and a six-speed manual
transmission is standard with an automatic as an option. Fuel mileage goes
up to 39 mpg highway with a MultiAir Turbo engine expected to deliver at
least 41 mpg. (They’re still tinkering to get more.)
Joe Dehner, head of Dodge and Ram Exterior Design, pointed out the
features on the exterior of the Dart.
“We wanted something very sexy, very daring,” Dehner said. “We actually
created this term ‘aero-dramatic.’ There’s obviously a big fuel economy
play here that influences the design.
“We wanted it to be aerodynamic, but ‘aerodynamic’ can be boring. So we
came up with ‘aero-dramatic.’ ”
There are slight differences in the grille with the different models, each
staying true to the split crosshair theme Dodge introduced in 2011. The
body side is very clean and simple, and the rear features the C-pillar
“flying buttress” inspired by Dodge Charger.
Ryan Nagode, chief of Dodge, Ram and Fiat Interior Design, went over
details for the Dart’s interior, who noted the use of high quality
materials throughout the model lineup.
“Every single class has that attention to detail and material uses,” he
The display model featured an impressive black interior, but the Dart is
available in 14 different interior color combinations.
We want to thank all the presenters, Kathy Graham, Joe Dehner, and Ryan
Nagoda, and to our good friend Lisa Barrow of Chrysler for making it all
After the presentation and before lunch was served family style, President
Jaime Florez conducted the business session.
Florez encouraged members to give coverage of the upcoming SAMA events in
their publications and outlets, and secretary Tony Lesesne pointed out
that sending links to Pepe Delfino for the SAMA website (samaonline.org),
can increase exposure for members’ own publications and sites.
Vice President Bill Adam noted that plans are coming along for the annual
Rides-N-Smiles event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and it promises to be
even bigger than ever.
This year’s event, which will be on Nov. 10, will include increased
participation by veterans in the Wounded Warrior program at the VA
Several veterans from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan took part last
year by escorting the children through the pits and to the cars, and the
number is expected to rise to 50 vets this November.
Baptist Children’s Hospital also promises to have even more children to
take part, and members of the car club at Ocean Reef in Key Largo are
looking to bring their vintage cars to the track for display.
“Let’s try to keep building to make this the biggest event possible,” Bill
Our next event is coming up soon. SAMA’s second annual convertible
competition, Topless in Miami, will be June 14 at the Ritz-Carlton in Key
This is a later date than was originally announced, but will allow for
more manufacturers to take part. Event Chairman Paul Borden said we are
looking at adding another class, “Exotic Luxury,” to the categories we
gave awards for last year, which were Convertible of the Year, Best Luxury
Convertible, Best Family Convertible, Best Sports Car, and Best Small
Ron Beasley, who tabulates the scoring, reminded all of just how important
it is for members to score all the vehicles, just as they did a year ago.
We had a big turnout for judging last year, which made for an impressive
The day will be topped off by a reception an awards dinner that evening to
be sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.
This event will take the place of the regular June monthly meeting, so be
sure to mark your calendars now.
Treasurer Marcello Serrato had two significant announcements. Melissa
Galarza is taking over for Stephanie Camargo as our GM contact for the
Axis Agency. We look forward to working with her and with Araba Dowell of
And in a great bit of news for our members, it was announced that Maria
Ravani and Ady Coutinho of Sobre Ruedas Magazine had received two
significant national awards, one for the Most Original Cover and Interview
and the Gold Medal for the magazine’s 10-year anniversary.
Congratulations to Maria and Ady for those accomplishments!
If any member has news of personal or business achievements, don’t be shy.
Please let us know of them so you can be recognized.
Again, we want to thank Lisa Barrow and all the folks from Dodge for
sponsoring what was a delightful luncheon and very informative
And a final reminder: Mark your calendar for Topless in Miami on June 14!
More details will be coming in to your email box!