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Chrysler US sales rose by 13%

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler was first out of the gate with its July sales report, reporting that deliveries rose 12.6% in July, slightly below analysts’ estimates of 14.0%. The increase makes Chrysler’s best July since 2007.

All Chrysler brands posted sales year-to-year increases, and Chrysler itself recorded its 28th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Chrysler brand led the way with its 35% sales gain.

July 2012 US Chrysler sales

Two models set sales records: the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan (up 43%) and the Dodge Journey full-size crossover (up 69%).

Ram pickup, the new volume leader, had a 17% sales increase, and the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan registered a solid 41% gain. Jeep Grand Cherokee sales were up 22% while the Jeep Liberty went up 34%. As a brand, Ram had its highest July in four years. Jeep posted a 7% gain despite a 15% drop in its volume leader.

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan rolled up a 25%, its best July since 2006. Dodge Caravan sales shot up even more, rising by 43% to overshoot Town & Country by over a thousand vans. Together, Chrysler minivan sales were around 17,000, beating the Grand Cherokee-Durango pair, the LX triplets, or even the Wrangler. The company also sold 555 Ram Cargo Vans, the old Caravan C/V but with many improvements requested by commercial buyers; they did not report how many Caravan C/Vs were sold in 2011, but the Ram Cargo Van sales are likely higher.

Most car models posted healthy double-digit gains, but there were some shortfalls. Compass dropped by around 340 cars (8%), though Patriot easily made up for that with a 28% gain. Wrangler dropped more seriously, by over 1,100 vehicles, a 15% decline from July 2011. Caliber, as one would expect from a discontinued model, fell 84% from 3,305 to 520 units sold; Dart sales, constrained by low supplies and dealers holding stock as showroom display units, did not make up the shortfall, with just 772 sold in July.

Durango sales may have been more troubling, with a 49% drop — around 2,700 units — but that was mainly a shift to Grand Cherokee sales, which were up 22%, or around 2,100 units. The two vehicles are produced in the same factory.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 65-days supply of inventory (341,699 units). U.S. industry sales figures for July are projected at an estimated 14 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

Fiat sales rose 225, setting a sales record; Fiat 500 Cabrio set a triple digit percentage sales increase, possibly due to widespread availability.

Chrysler Group LLC U.S. Sales Summary Thru July 2012
Model Jul-12 Jul-11 Change YTD 2012 YTD 2011 Change
Chrysler 200 9,287 6,509 42.7% 78,389 38,980 101.1%
Sebring (Disc.) 0 0 -100.0% 0 2,380 -100.0%
Chrysler 300 3,399 2,415 40.7% 44,200 16,096 174.6%
PT Cruiser 0 0 -100.0% 0 1,328 -100.0%
Town & Country 8,106 6,503 24.7% 65,957 52,711 25.1%
CHRYSLER BRAND 20,792 15,427 34.8% 188,546 111,495 69.1%
Compass 4,099 4,430 -7.5% 24,612 25,191 -2.3%
Patriot 5,870 4,598 27.7% 38,577 33,751 14.3%
Wrangler 12,216 14,355 -14.9% 83,087 67,591 22.9%
Liberty 7,803 5,809 34.3% 50,142 37,109 35.1%
Grand Cherokee 11,571 9,499 21.8% 86,688 63,869 35.7%
Commander 0 0 -100.0% 0 104 -100.0%
JEEP BRAND 41,559 38,691 7.4% 283,106 227,615 24.4%
Caliber (Disc.) 520 3,305 -84.3% 9,502 24,810 -61.7%
Dart 772 0 New 974 0 New
Avenger 5,188 3,626 43.1% 58,050 34,099 70.2%
Charger 6,440 5,344 20.5% 52,203 43,185 20.9%
Challenger 3,631 3,509 3.5% 27,082 23,670 14.4%
Viper (Disc.) 0 14 -100.0% 20 128 -84.4%
Journey 7,051 4,180 68.7% 43,802 31,285 40.0%
Caravan 9,247 6,485 42.6% 78,211 63,455 23.3%
Nitro (Disc.) 45 1,826 -97.5% 3,182 13,984 -77.2%
Durango 2,736 5,364 -49.0% 24,182 28,935 -16.4%
DODGE BRAND 35,630 33,653 5.9% 297,208 263,551 12.8%
Dakota (Disc.) 19 906 -97.9% 478 9,106 -94.8%
Ram P/U 23,824 20,311 17.3% 162,405 132,209 22.8%
Cargo Van 555 0 New 3,998 0 New
RAM BRAND 24,398 21,217 15.0% 166,881 141,315 18.1%
FIAT BRAND 3,710 3,038 22.1% 24,416 7,982 205.9%
TOTAL CHRYSLER GROUP LLC 126,089 112,026 12.6% 960,157 751,958 27.7%
TOTAL CAR 32,947 27,760 18.7% 294,836 191,330 54.1%
TOTAL TRUCK 93,142 84,266 10.5% 665,321 560628 18.7%

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 just-auto.com, 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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