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Chrysler sales up 30.1% in May

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group today reported U.S. sales of 150,041 units, a 30 percent increase compared with sales in May 2011 (115,363 units), and the group’s best May sales since 2007.

The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck, and Fiat brands each posted increases in May compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat brand set a sales record for the fourth-consecutive month and the brand’s 128 percent year-over-year sales gain was the largest percentage increase of any Chrysler Group brand in May.

Several additional Chrysler Group models posted record sales in May. The Jeep Wrangler SUV and Dodge Challenger each set all-time monthly sales records, while the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans set sales records for the month of May.

“In spite of a tremendous amount of global economic uncertainty, the U.S. new vehicle sales industry continues to power ahead,” said Reid Bigelow, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “Our May sales increased 30 percent and represented our 26th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. We are also in the process of adding production capacity as quickly as possible to meet strong demand for our products.”

Once again, a broad range of Chrysler Group models contributed to the company’s 30 percent increase. While the Fiat 500 continues to rack up sales records, the Ram pickup truck logged its 25th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Both the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans posted double-digit sales gains in May, while the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan recorded triple-digit year-over-year sales growth. The Jeep brand weighed in with impressive double-digit sales gains by the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler SUVs.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 61-days supply of inventory (351,804 units). U.S. industry sales figures for May are projected at an estimated 14.2 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

2012 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

FIAT Brand: FIAT brand sales were up 128 percent in May versus the same month a year ago, the largest year-over-year sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand. The FIAT brand set a sales record in May, the fourth-consecutive month that the brand has set a new record this year. May marked the first full month of sales of the Fiat 500 Abarth.

Chrysler Brand: Chrysler brand sales were up 81 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales since 2008 and its 11th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. All three Chrysler models contributed to the brand’s strong sales performance in May. Sales of the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, the brand’s volume leader for the month, were up 87 percent, a new sales record for the month of May.

Sales of the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up 140 percent, the model’s best May sales in five years. Chrysler Town & Country minivan sales were up 56 percent in May compared with the same month in 2011.

Jeep® Brand: Jeep brand sales were up 24 percent, posting the brand’s best May sales performance in 12 years and its 25th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Wrangler, the brand’s volume leader for the month, set an all-time sales record in May with its solid 44 percent sales increase. May sales of the Jeep Liberty mid-size SUV were the best since 2007.

Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee increased 40 percent in May, the model’s best May sales since 2005.

Dodge Brand: Dodge brand sales increased 14 percent in May, the brand’s best May sales in four years and its 12th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. Two Dodge vehicles broke sales records. The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan set a new sales record for the month of May with its 93 percent year-over-year increase. The Dodge Challenger muscle car set an all-time monthly sales record in May. The Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, the brand’s volume leader in May, and the Dodge Journey full-size crossover, each had their best May sales in four years.

Ram Truck Brand: Sales of the Ram pickup truck, Chrysler Group’s volume leader, were up a sound 29 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago. It was the pickup truck’s 25th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best May since 2007. Both Ram light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks posted sales increases in May. Of the Ram light-duty truck sales, the regular cab pickups posted the largest percentage sales increase in May, but the quad cab trucks led in volume. The Ram Truck brand posted its best May sales in five years.

Chrysler Group Sales Summary Thru May 2012
Model May-12 May-11 Change YTD 2012 YTD 2011 Change
500 4,003 1,759 127.6% 16,702 3,141 431.7%
FIAT BRAND 4,003 1,759 127.6% 16,702 3,141 431.7%
200 13,250 7,098 86.7% 58,231 25,252 130.6%
Sebring 0 53 -100.0% 0 2,380 -100.0%
300 6,101 2,539 140.3% 33,830 11,181 202.6%
PT Cruiser 0 45 -100.0% 0 1,328 -100.0%
Town & Country 10,323 6,629 55.7% 48,830 39,398 23.9%
CHRYSLER BRAND 29,674 16,364 81.3% 140,891 79,539 77.1%
Compass 3,720 4,555 -18.3% 16,443 15,998 2.8%
Patriot 5,891 5,470 7.7% 27,117 23,313 16.3%
Wrangler 14,454 10,008 44.4% 56,410 41,946 34.5%
Liberty 6,859 6,048 13.4% 34,447 26,048 32.2%
Grand Cherokee 13,274 9,484 40.0% 62,611 45,401 37.9%
Commander 0 8 -100.0% 0 104 -100.0%
JEEP BRAND 44,198 35,573 24.2% 197,028 152,810 28.9%
Caliber 1,341 4,002 -66.5% 7,987 17,576 -54.6%
Avenger 10,682 5,543 92.7% 43,458 24,868 74.8%
Charger 6,735 7,830 -14.0% 37,231 30,626 21.6%
Challenger 4,816 3,418 40.9% 19,442 16,777 15.9%
Viper 0 16 -100.0% 20 110 -81.8%
Journey 5,789 3,706 56.2% 29,855 22,484 32.8%
Caravan 12,418 9,427 31.7% 58,063 46,148 25.8%
Nitro 164 1,900 -91.4% 3,056 10,164 -69.9%
Durango 3,848 4,358 -11.7% 18,151 17,744 2.3%
DODGE BRAND 45,793 40,200 13.9% 217,263 186,497 16.5%
Dakota 26 1,350 -98.1% 441 7,015 -93.7%
Ram P/U 26,040 20,117 29.4% 114,630 90,536 26.6%
Cargo Van 307 0 N/A 2,302 0 N/A
RAM BRAND 26,373 21,467 22.9% 117,373 97,551 20.3%
TOTAL CHRYSLER GROUP 150,041 115,363 30.1% 689,257 519,538 32.7%
TOTAL CAR 46,928 32,258 45.5% 216,901 131,911 64.4%
TOTAL TRUCK 103,113 83,105 24.1% 472,356 387,627 21.9%

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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