Chrysler sales shoot up 37% (26% for 2011)

Chrysler retail sales shot up 45% in December, for the best month’s retail sales in four years and the best total sales since May 2008. Chrysler’s US sales rose 26% in 2011 versus 2010, the best percentage sales gain of any full-line maker, gaining 1.3 points of market share.

December U.S. sales were 138,019, 37% higher than in December 2010 (100,702 units).

For the year, Chrysler Group sales totaled 1.37 million units, up 26% over 2010. Every brand posted solid sales gains during 2011.

December marked Chrysler Group’s 21st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and seventh-consecutive month of sales increases of at least 20 percent.

Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck each logged double-digit percentage sales gains in December, while FIAT posted a 44% increase compared with November.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 64-day supply of inventory (326,087 units). U.S. industry sales figures for December are projected at an estimated 14 million SAAR.

Chrysler Brand: The Chrysler brand’s 83% increase, driven by surging sales of the Chrysler 300 and Chrysler 200 sedans, was the largest percentage sales gain of all the Chrysler Group brands. Sales of the 200 were up a robust 661% in December, compared with sales of its predecessor the same month a year ago, while the 300 turned in a 242% sales gain.

Jeep®: Sales were up 41% in December, its 20th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Compass all contributed. The Compass’ 1,035% sales gain was the largest of any Chrysler Group model in December. Wrangler set a new sales record for the month of December; the model’s seventh-consecutive monthly sales record this year. Grand Cherokee sales were up 36%, its best sales month since December 2005.

Dodge cars: Dodge posted a 28% sales increase in December. The 2012 Dodge Charger, America’s first domestic sport sedan to feature an eight-speed automatic transmission – delivering a best-in-class 31 mpg highway – led the brand with a 227% sales increase. Avenger and Journey each had double digit sales increases.

Ram: the heavy-volume brand posted a 10% sales increase in December with pickup sales rising 12%, based on rises in both light and heavy duty trucks.  Ram pickup logged a solid 23% sales increase for the year.

Year to date, one can easily see that Chrysler 200 was a hit, more than doubling sales of the Sebring; its brand-mate, the Avenger, identically priced, did not do quite as well, though it gained 26% over 2010. The big 300 and Charger actually lost ground despite attractive redesigns and superior powertrains (the eight-speed automatic), perhaps due to reduced rebates and economy issues (Challenger rose 7% but did not make up for the shortfall in 300/Charger). The small car triplets, Compass/Patriot/Caliber, did better, with Compass trebling its sales, Patriot scoring a 41% boost, and only Caliber suffering.  Journey rose a bit with the redesign, which probably had more impact on Fiat’s ability to sell it as the Freemont in other markets.

The important minivan segment did not fare well, with the high-priced Town & Country logging fewer than 100,000 sales and the Caravan posting 110,000 — staying roughly even in sales from 2010 as competitors continued to establish themselves as equals or leaders.

Even more important, Ram pickups, the volume leader, gained sales sharply, rising 23% for the year to over 240,000 sales. Wrangler continues to be the new star, with 122,000 sales, neatly beating any Chrysler vehicle other than Ram and Grand Cherokee. The original Grand Cherokee may have easily beaten the 2011’s sales every single year, 1993-1998, but 127,744 luxury-vehicle sales must have done wonders for Chrysler’s bottom line. The similar Durango chipped in with over 50,000 sales — add the two up and you nearly reach the Grand Cherokee’s glory days.

Liberty sales rose a bit, to 66,684 for the year, one third better than in 2010, but still nowhere near where it used to be or needs to be; Liberty is reportedly being replaced in the next calendar year. And, finally, Fiat 500 logged in with a bit under 20,000 sales, and a December number which would make estimates of 24,000 sales for 2012 seem like a reasonable starting point.

Of some note, the entire turnaround through December 2011 was accomplished without any Fiat technology (unless one counts the Fiat 500 itself).

Chrysler US Sales Dec 2011 Dec 2010 Change 2011 2010 Change
200 9,213 158 New 87,033 255 New
Sebring 0 1,211 -100% 2,380 38,330 -100%
300 5,142 1,503 242% 36,285 37,116 -2%
PT Cruiser 0 480 -100% 1,328 9,440 -86%
Aspen 0 0 0% 0 30 0%
Town & Country 9,619 9,780 -2% 94,320 112,275 -16%
  CHRYSLER BRAND 23,974 13,132 83% 221,346 197,446 12%
Compass 4,255 375 1035% 47,709 15,894 200%
Patriot 4,400 4,467 -1% 54,647 38,620 41%
Wrangler 11,415 8,227 39% 122,460 94,310 30%
Liberty 6,161 5,009 23% 66,684 49,564 35%
Grand Cherokee 17,346 12,753 36% 127,744 84,635 51%
Commander 0 79 -100% 105 8,115 -99%
  JEEP BRAND 43,577 30,910 41% 419,349 291,138 44%
Caliber 1,417 2,402 -41% 35,049 45,082 -22%
Avenger 6,216 3,510 77% 64,023 50,923 26%
Charger 7,211 2,205 227% 70,089 75,397 -7%
Challenger 3,284 3,330 -1% 39,534 36,791 7%
Viper 36 24 50% 197 392 -50%
Journey 4,710 3,830 23% 55,155 48,577 14%
Caravan 11,879 14,266 -17% 110,862 103,323 7%
Nitro 1,989 2,462 -19% 24,434 22,618 8%
Durango 4,806 361 1231% 51,697 572 8938%
  DODGE  BRAND 41,548 32,390 28% 451,040 383,675 18%
Dakota 408 1,029 -60% 12,156 13,047 -7%
Ram P/U 26,013 23,241 12% 244,763 199,652 23%
Cargo Van 174 0 New 691 0 New
Sprinter 0 0 0% 0 253 -100%
  RAM BRAND 26,595 24,270 10% 257,610 212,952 21%
Fiat 500 2,325 0 New 19,769 0 New
  TOTAL CHRYSLER GROUP 138,019 100,702 37% 1,369,114 1,085,211 26%
          TOTAL CAR 34,844 14,343 143% 354,359 284,286 25%
          TOTAL TRUCK 103,175 86,359 19% 1,014,755 800,925 27%
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Rendering the Grand Cherokee

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