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2013 Jeeps, and other 2013 Chrysler changes

In 2013, the entire North American lineup had been refreshed from the Daimler days. Chrysler was still ramping up their eight-speed automatics and working on nine-speed production; the first Fiat dual-clutch automatics were in the slow-selling Dodge Dart.

The 2013 Jeeps

Jeep Grand Cherokee continued for a short 2013 model year, switching in February to 2014 models with the eight speed automatic, stop-start, 8.4” touch-screen, etc. The hot selling SUV changed its white color from Stone to Bright. Overland Summit got numerous enhancements, including an optional black leather interior, front parking assistance (presumably using the forward radar setup that’s there for collision warning and adaptive cruise), power folding mirrors, front headlamp washers, black berber floor mats with black binding (on black interior only?), and accent stitching throughout the cabin. Grand Cherokee SRT8 added two new special editions, Alpine and Vapor — one white, one black.

Compass got a gas-mileage hike to 30 mpg highway, with the five-speed manual and FWD, available in Sport, Latitude, and Limited. Patriot got a new wheel design. See our Trail-Rated 2013 Jeep Patriot (and Compass) off-road test drive. After a short 2013, though, Compass and Patriot bumped over to 2014, with a new six-speed automatic, numerous Compass changes, and other upgrades.

Jeep Wrangler continued for 2013 with minor adjustments, with revised seats (both "comfort" and material); available auto-dimming rearview mirror with LED map light; a better tire pressure monitoring system; upgraded LED courtesy lights; dual windshield wiper nozzles; better soft top for Wrangler Unlimited (with a "rear spring lift assist"), dual note horn (except RHD), footwell and upholder lighting; and trailer sway dampening. Updated options include the premium soft top, Alpine 7-speaker stereo and 368-watt head unit, and Katzkin leather.

17 x 7.5 polished gray wheels are standard on Rubicon, replacing Painted Satin Carbon. Meanwhile, Polished Satin Carbon replaced Aluminum Painted Silver on Sahara. Paint colors were black, bright white, Crush, deep cherry red pearl, Dozer, Geccko, and True Blue Pearl, with late availability for Billet Metallic, Commando Green Pearl, Dune, Rock Lobster, and Rugged Brown.

Colors

colors

Chrysler now requires annual, rather than semi-annual, oil changes on many cars (not SRT and diesel engines), at intervals of no more than 10,000 miles. The automatic oil change indicator will provide a "percent oil life remaining" display (as General Motors' system has for years), and provide "Change Oil Soon" (within 500 miles) and "Change Oil Now" displays on the dashboard.

oil changes

The system works, as GM’s does, by starting with an ideal oil life (in the number of engine turns), and applies "penalty factors" using oil temperature, engine speed and load, and ethanol content (presumably along with the previously reported items) to come up with a safe estimate of oil life. There will likely be the usual disclaimers regarding people driving in predominantly dusty conditions, who should change their oil more often. Owners who change their oil can reset the system (on cars with pushbutton ignition) by cycling the ignition to ON/RUN (without their feet on the brake), slowly flooring the gas pedal three times within ten seconds, then pressing the engine button once to return to OFF.

Sales and Finances

1998-2013 sales

U.S. SalesAll 2013All 2012Change
Chrysler 200122,480125,476-2.4%
Chrysler 30057,72470,747-18.4%
Town & Country122,288111,7449.4%
CHRYSLER 302,492307,967-1.8%
Compass52,99340,23531.7%
Patriot75,79762,01022.2%
Wrangler155,502141,6699.8%
Liberty6,10175,483-91.9%
Grand Cherokee174,275154,73412.6%
Cherokee25,7860NEW
JEEP 490,454474,1313.4%
Caliber4510,176-99.6%
Dart83,38825,304229.5%
Avenger93,84296,889-3.1%
Charger98,33682,59219.1%
Challenger51,46243,11919.3%
Viper59120NEW
Journey83,93379,5635.5%
Caravan124,019141,468-12.3%
Nitro03,269 Disc.
Durango60,72742,58942.6%
DODGE 596,343524,98913.6%
Dakota0490 Dropped
Ram Pickup355,673293,36321.2%
Cargo Van8,9007,07525.8%
ProMaster Van3,2700NEW
RAM 367,843300,92822.2%
Fiat 50035,83443,772-18.1%
Fiat 500L7,4020NEW
FIAT 43,23643,772-1.2%
GRAND TOTAL1,800,3681,651,7879.0%
TOTAL CAR551,104498,09510.6%
TOTAL TRUCK1,249,2641,153,6928.3%
Chrysler 300 sales in the United States dropped by around 18% as part of a plan to move the model upscale; the base model with cloth seats was dropped (except for fleet sales), and buyers appear to have switched to the Dodge Charger instead. Charger sales rose by more than 300 sales fell; but sales only tell part of the story. 300 resale values rose, increasing profits on leases and helping 300 owners to get more value from their cars.

Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sales fell slightly, but some of that may have been due to Dart’s massive increase. Dart remained below expectations, with just 83,388 sales for the year, though.

Jeep was a success story, with sales rising despite the lack of new Libertys to sell. Every Jeep still in production saw gains, sometimes quite substantial ones. Aside from the discontinued Caliber, the Avenger, and Caravan, every Dodge also saw sales increases, partiuclarly the upscale Durango.

Perhaps most important, Ram, the company’s best seller by far, saw sales rise by 21% — or around 60,000 trucks, which means that Ram sales rose by about the same number as Durangos were sold, in total.

Fiat, like Mini, saw a major decline in its base car’s sales; it was covered a bit by the launch of the Fiat 500L, resulting in a minor combined sales loss. Overall, Chrysler U.S. sales rose by 9% — 10.6% in cars, 8.3% in trucks.

Chrysler’s 2013 profits

Chrysler Group posted its tenth consecutive quarter of increased net income in January 2014. For the full year 2013, the company generated $2.8 billion in profits, including $962 million from “release of valuation allowances on deferred tax assets.” Adjusted net income rose 9%, from $1.7 billion in 2012 to to $1.8 billion in 2013, as full-year revenues rose 10% to $72 billion.

The company's U.S. market share increased to 11.4% from 11.2% in 2013, while its Canadian share advanced to 14.6% from 14.2% in the previous year. (Note: industry figures analyzed by Allpar show Chrysler Group had 11.6% of the U.S. light vehicle market in 2013.)

Included in the report was the full-year guidance for Chrysler in 2014. The targets for the full year 2014 were:

  • Worldwide vehicle shipments of 2.8 million
  • Net revenue of $80 billion
  • Modified Operating Profit of $3.7-$4.0 billion
  • Net income of $2.3-$2.5 billion
  • Free Cash Flow of $0.5-$1.0 billion

Chrysler sales within the United States are shown at right.

Canada and Mexico

December 2013 was Chrysler Canada’s 49th consecutive month of year over year sales growth, the longest such streak in its history, for the best sales year since 2000, when Chrysler was still largely unaffected by the Daimler acquisition. Sales rose by 7%, from 243,845 to 260,015.

Canada

Ram set an annual sales record in the first ten months of the year.

Canada chart

In Mexico, December was Chrysler’s best sales month of 2013, with sales of 10,473 units. For the full year, Chrysler de México appeared to be 1% ahead of 2012.

mexico

Part 1 of 4. See part 2 (2013 Chrysler and Fiat) or part 3 (Ram trucks and vans) or part 4 (2013 Dodge cars)

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