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Numbers show Chrysler can stand alone as an automaker

by Bill Cawthon on

Bob Corker, a Republican Senator from Tennessee which is home to a growing number of automotive facilities, echoed a statement made by a number of pundits and analysts about Chrysler. In hearings on Capitol Hill, Senator Corker said: “There’s no future for the company as a stand-alone.”

Perhaps Senator Corker and the talking heads haven’t looked at the numbers that Chrysler has racked up in spite of one of the worst sales years in recent memory.

As of November 30, 2008, Chrysler LLC has sold more vehicles in the United States than any automaker except General Motors, Toyota and Ford. As of the end of November, Chrysler’s three brands had sold 1,363,309 passenger cars and light trucks. This is especially impressive considering that from May through August, Honda outsold Chrysler. In September, October and November, Chrysler came back to pass Honda; not just in monthly sales, but in sales for the first eleven months of 2008.

With 736,844 cars and trucks sold through the end of November, Dodge is the sixth-most-popular brand of light vehicle, behind Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Nissan. Dodge outsells Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Hummer, Lincoln, Mercury, Pontiac and Saturn and all other import brands.

Chrysler LLC outsells all the European brands combined. Dodge, by itself, outsells Hyundai and Kia combined.

Chrysler LLC sells more minivans in North America than any other manufacturer. General Motors and Ford both dropped out of the minivan market after years of trying to compete with Chrysler.

Chrysler LLC sells more SUVs and light trucks than any import manufacturer, including Toyota.

The Jeep Wrangler outsells all conventional sport-utility vehicles except the Chevrolet Tahoe.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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