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Chrysler 2012: more cars, fewer SUVs

by David Zatz on

2012 cars vs truck salesRe-engineering of Chrysler cars and the addition of a compact and subcompact sedan has increased the proportion of cars sold by Chrysler in 2012, according to the company.

Chrysler has, over the last decade, often been criticized by analysts for  its dependence on trucks and SUVs. While the larger, heavier vehicles bring in larger profit margins, they also expose companies to large sales drops when fuel prices rise. American customers also claim to be more influenced by fuel economy than any other factor, in national surveys (though these surveys are subject to social desirability bias).

While all segments of Chrysler’s sales have risen for 2012, some have risen faster than others; passenger cars (sedans, convertibles, and coupes) now make up over 30% of sales, up from 25.9% in 2011. Small and mid-sized cars increased with the launch of the Fiat 500, while large and specialty car sales rose with upgrades of the 300/300C, Charger,  and Challenger.

The largest chunk of Chrysler sales (31.5%) remains SUVs, bolstered by the hot-selling Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, but the share has declined from 36% in 2011. Minivans are again #2, followed by pickups and vans (presumably Ram Cargo van); small and mid-sized cars are now nearly as strong.

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