Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep news from Allpar

Sergio warns: March sales will fall


Sergio Marchionne, in a statement released with February sales, warned that Chrysler’s sales will likely fall in March 2013, compared with March 2012.

Last year, March was the peak sales month for the company, with over 163,000 U.S. sales, compared with an average of under 140,000 sales per month (during 2012). This year, Chrysler sales rose just 4% in February, ending a stunningly long streak of double-digit year-over-year sales gains.

Mr. Marchionne blamed next month’s projected drop (versus 2012) on the end of Liberty availability, and lack of product due to launches of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Compass, along with the Ram Heavy Duty pickups. Liberty went out of production in 2012, but dealers were told to stock up on them, given the unusual length of time the plant would be refitted. The new Jeep Cherokee, which replaces Liberty, is not due to start production until May, as Trenton Engine ramps up 3.2 V6 production and Kokomo works on building nine-speed automatics. The Cherokee will also reportedly use the Tiger Shark 2.4 engine, shared with Dodge Dart GT, but the assembly line for that engine is also still not fully active.

Although the company has not released its advertising budgets, it did make fairly substantial changes in how it allocated advertising at the beginning of the year. This may also be an influence in sales. Some had speculated that Chrysler was carefully allocating advertising funds and vehicle incentives in order to maintain double digit sales increases month to month, both creating a consistent “success story”  in the media and returning production to levels where all factories were running at efficient levels (several Chrysler plants are running over their nominal capacity). If this theory is true, Chrysler leaders may now feel that the “comeback story” is credible enough now to allow them to coast until Cherokee sales kick in, in June to August, providing a natural sales boost. It may also be necessary to cut production, as Chrysler builds up an engine and transmission supply for Cherokee’s launch and transitions from WA580 automatics to the new transmissions.

Steckly scores in National 250


Three-time series champion Scott Steckly earned his first win of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season Saturday in the National 250 at the Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, Quebec. Starting from the No. 2 spot, Steckly dominated the race in the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge, leading for 202 of the 250 laps and beating Alex Guenette and the No....

Vipers victorious at the Brickyard


Jonathan Bomarito and Kumo Wittmer participated in the traditional kissing of the bricks after winning the GT Le Mans class in Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the first Viper win of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and it’s a major win for SRT Motorsports....

Friday racing results


Austin Wayne Self, driving the No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Dodge, finished second in the Scott Get Geared Up 200 presented by Federated Car Care that ran late Friday at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. He crossed the finish line 5.378 seconds after Brandon Jones in the No....

Ram 1500 weight close to 2015 Ford?


Ram spokesman Nick Cappa wrote, We have received inquiries on weight reduction regarding half-ton trucks and a 2014 vs 2015 weight comparison from one of our competitors. … The 2014 Ram 1500 uses aluminum in strategic locations including the hood, suspension components, engine components and drive shaft. The more interesting story is our apples to apples weight numbers....

Categories: Chrysler, Sales.

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Steckly scores in National 250
Vipers victorious at the Brickyard

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