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Chrysler sales: analysis, comparisons, Canada

by David Zatz on

Chrysler sales rose by 30% in May 2012, versus May 2011, also neatly beating April 2012 sales. Cars were the big gainer, rising by 45.5%, while trucks, SUVs, and minivans rose by a respectable 24%.

Chrysler did well, but not nearly as well as Toyota and Honda, which hit the US market with a vengeance. Toyota sales jumped 87.3% as the Sienna rocketed to the top of the minivan segment; Honda shot up by 48%. Ford posted a 13% hike, GM 11% (despite a 15% drop at Cadillac), Hyundai 7%, Nissan 16%, Subaru 48%, and Volkswagen 24%. The effect of the Fiat deal can be seen in comparison of Chrysler and Nissan numbers: Chrysler came from behind Nissan in sales to now easily beat the Franco-Japanese firm, 150,041 to 91,794, and is even ahead of Honda (133,997). Neither Ford (215,699) nor GM (245,256) seems to have much to fear from Chrysler — for now.

Gains and losses at Chrysler

On a percentage basis, the big gainers were the Chrysler 300 (a stunning 140%), the Fiat 500 (128%), Dodge Avenger (93%), and Chrysler 200 (87%). Most vehicles still being produced turned in impressive gains, as well. Wrangler continues to outperform expectations, with a stunning 44% increase on this high-volume SUV — the second most popular nameplate sold by the company, with 14,454 U.S. sales in May. The all-important Ram pickup also registered a 29% sales gain; Ram is the single largest seller for Chrysler, with 26,040 being sold in the U.S. last month. Both minivans made respectable gains.

Of vehicles still being made, only three registered lower sales: Compass (down 18%), Charger (down 14%), and Durango (down 12%). Durango’s drop was drowned out in Grand Cherokee’s sales rise; overall, the small-crossover trio of Compass, Caliber, and Patriot ran at a deficit, but the factory where they’re made is now pumping out Dodge Darts.

In terms of total volume, Chrysler 200 tipped the scales with a 6,152-car increase over May 2011, followed by Ram’s 5,923-truck gain and Avenger’s 5,139-car rise. At the other end, Caliber dropped by 2,661 cars, Nitro (no longer made) by 1,736, Dakota (no longer made) by 1,324, and Charger by 1,095. In terms of year to date volume, 200, Ram, and 300 led the gains, with sales hikes of 32,979; 24,094; and 22,649, respectively.

Year to date, Fiat 500 led the gains with over five times as many sold as in 2011, year to date; Chrysler 300 tripled its January-May sales, perhaps more impressive given its much higher cost and, presumably, higher profit. Platform-mates Charger and Challenger did well as well, year to date, with sales up 22% and 16%, respectively. Year to date sales only dropped for vehicles no longer in production: Caliber, Nitro, Dakota, Sebring, PT Cruiser, Commander, and Viper.

The Chrysler brand itself was responsible for the highest non-Fiat percentage gain, at 81%; that’s around 13,500 cars. Dodge added around 5,500 cars (14%), Jeep added around 9,000 (24%), and Ram added around 5,000 (23%). Fiat’s 128% gain represented around 2,300 cars. Overall, Chrysler is up 33% for the year — with 689,257 sales through May, versus 519,538 for a similar period in 2011.

Chrysler Canada

Chrysler Canada posted its 30th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth, with May sales of 26,218 compared to 24,406 in May 2011, a 7% increase.

The Chrysler brand was led by strong sales of the Chrysler 200 sedan and convertible, which were up 97% with 2,057 units sold. The Chrysler 300 more than tripled its 2011 sales. Chrysler Town & Country minivan sales set a new May sales record, up 62% per cent for the month.

Fiat 500 sales rose 19%. Canada’s #1 selling crossover, the Dodge Journey, set a May record with 3,002 sales, an increase of 7%.

Ram truck sales set an all-time record with 6,596 sales reported in May of 2012, compared to 5,428 in May of 2011. Calendar-year-to-date Ram truck sales are 20% ahead of 2011’s record pace. Wrangler rose 9%.

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