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Chrysler beats estimates: US sales up 12%

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 142,041 units, a 12% increase over sales in September 2011 (127,336 units), the best September sales since 2007.

The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat brands each improved. Fiat’s 51% increase brought sales of 4,176, an all-time record for the brand.

“Last month marked our 30th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest September in five years,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Going forward with our current product line up, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it.”

As production rose, Dart sales of 5,235 units were up 72% compared with August.

Five other Chrysler Group models set sales records: the Chrysler 200, Jeep Patriot and Wrangler and the Dodge Journey and Avenger. Avenger sales soared 89% and Journey went up 41% compared with the same month last year.

Other standout models in September were the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee with sales up 19%, and the Dodge Grand Caravan with a sales gain of 32%.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 65-days supply of inventory (369,144 units). U.S. industry sales figures for September are projected at an estimated 14.9 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

September 2012 U.S. Sales Highlights:

Fiat Brand: Sales were up 51% in September, the largest year-over-year percentage increase of any Chrysler Group brand. The Fiat 500 set an all-time sales record in September. Sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio were up 44% versus the same month last year, while the Fiat 500 recorded a 52% year-over-year sales gain. The Fiat 500 Turbo, the fourth model in the FIAT brand lineup, should begin hitting dealership showrooms this month.

Dodge: sales climbed 18% in September, the brand’s best September in five years and second best sales month this year. Two Dodge brand models set sales records: the Dodge Journey full-size crossover, with its 41% sales gain, and the Avenger, with a September sales record gain of 89%, the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model. Sales of the Dodge Dart were up 72% compared to August 2012 and the Dodge Grand Caravan turned in a solid 32% improvement in September.

Jeep: sales were up 10%, marking the the brand’s best September in six years and its 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Patriot logged a 42% jump while marking a new September sales record. The Wrangler also set a record for the month of September with its 6% gain.

Sales of the Grand Cherokee rose 19% making last month the Grand Cherokee’s best September in seven years.

Chrysler Brand: recorded its best September sales in five years and its 15th-consecutive month of year-over-year improvements with a 5% gain. The Chrysler 200 set a sales record for the month of September, up 13% versus September 2011. Sales of the Chrysler 300 were up 7%, for its best September in five years and 11th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

Ram Truck: Ram extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 29 consecutive months. Ram pickup sales were up 6%, giving Chrysler Group’s volume leader its best September since 2007. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 223% sales increase.

Model Sept 12 Sept 11 Change YTD 2012 YTD 2011 Change
200 9,881 8,709 13% 100,267 58,550 71%
Sebring 0 0   0 2,380 -100%
300 4,762 4,445 7% 53,630 23,376 129%
PT Cruiser 0 0   0 1,328 -100%
Town & Country 10,207 10,405 -2% 87,569 71,917 22%
CHRYSLER BRAND 24,850 23,559 5% 241,466 157,551 53%
Compass 3,535 4,422 -20% 31,903 34,013 -6%
Patriot 5,428 3,812 42% 49,061 42,653 15%
Wrangler 12,097 11,388 6% 108,477 91,928 18%
Liberty 5,646 5,363 5% 63,674 49,325 29%
Grand Cherokee 12,539 10,580 19% 112,075 85,769 31%
Commander 0 0   0 105 -100%
JEEP 39,245 35,565 10% 365,190 303,793 20%
Caliber 187 2,552 -93% 10,021 30,590 -67%
Dart 5,235 0 New 9,254 0 New
Avenger 8,716 4,610 89% 74,739 45,028 66%
Charger 5,863 6,794 -14% 63,485 54,153 17%
Challenger 3,230 3,330 -3% 33,623 30,160 11%
Viper 0 6 -100% 20 144 -86%
Journey 7,627 5,402 41% 59,351 41,706 42%
Caravan 13,488 10,203 32% 108,127 85,830 26%
Nitro 24 2,255 -99% 3,240 18,753 -83%
Durango 2,986 4,923 -39% 30,052 39,080 -23%
DODGE 47,356 40,075 18% 391,912 345,444 13%
Dakota 8 708 -99% 488 10,657 -95%
Ram P/U 25,973 24,522 6% 213,593 177,973 20%
Cargo Van 433 134 New 5,279 135 New
RAM 26,414 25,364 4% 219,360 188,765 16%
FIAT 500 4,176 2,773 51% 32,742 13,861 136%
GRAND TOTAL 142,041 127,336 12% 1,250,670 1,009,414 24%
TOTAL CAR 42,050 33,219 27% 377,781 258,242 46%
TOTAL TRUCK 99,991 94,117 6% 872,889 751,172 16%

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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