by Dan Minick of Global Auto with renderings by Charger, JackRatchett, S. Weigel, and Suzq044, with thanks to oh2o, JRS200x, Karl3. Updated 1/28/14
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. Overall, Chrysler sales had been climbing steadily since their low point in 2009, but were only recapturing lost ground. More telling, the percentage of sales to retail customers was increasing, and incentives were slowly falling, showing that the new lineup was more of a hit among customers.
This page is for Jeep changes and the sales summaries — also see Dodge cars, Ram, and Chrysler and Fiat.
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.
The 2013 Ram 1500 got an eight-speed automatic with new Pentastar V6 or carryover Hemi engines. There were also interior and exterior cosmetic changes; overall, it was a fairly hefty refresh/redesign of the Ram 1500 for 2013, while Ram 2500 got a CNG option for fleets. There are too many changes to list here, so see them all on our 2013 Ram 1500 page.
Ram Chassis Cab got bolstered with a 30,000-pound “Max Tow” package. Cargo Van continues without announced changes. Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 lose their DEF exemption; while owners now have to fill a diesel exhaust fluid tank every few months, that cost is more than made up for with considerably increased fuel mileage.
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.
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.
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 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:
Chrysler sales within the United States are shown at right.
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.
Ram set an annual sales record in the first ten months of the year.
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.
Part 1 of 4. See part 2 (2013 Chrysler and Fiat) or part 3 (2013 Dodge cars)-> Next page in this series
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