Chrysler May 2014 Sales Surge 17 Percent

Chrysler Group had its best May sales since 2007, with a 17 percent growth to 194,421 units sold. The biggest push again came from Jeep, which combined with the consistent success of the Ram 1500 pickup, resulted in an impressive 38 percent increase in truck sales for May 2014. As we’ve seen in recent months, car sales continue to slide, as the Chrysler Group overall sold 27 percent fewer passenger cars than it did in May 2013. The Chrysler brand was the only nameplate to lose ground, posting a 22 percent loss. In year-to-date sales, the Chrysler Group is 13 percent ahead of its position this time last year, with 849,037 vehicles sold. It was the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

Winner: Jeep Brand, Up 58 Percent

After its phenomenal 52 percent sales gain last month, Jeep continued its record-breaking run into May. It was the brand’s best sales month ever for the third month in a row, with the benchmark now set at 70,203 vehicles sold—the first time Jeep has broached the 70,000 mark in the U.S. The Cherokee has proven to be a major game-changer, and sales of 15,992 vehicles remained strong in May. Grand Cherokee grew 13 percent to 18,068 units, and the Wrangler showed up with its best sales month ever, totaling 19,235 units sold. Not to be outdone, the Jeep Compass recorded the largest gain of 64 percent, up to 8,666 vehicles sold. Again, each and every Jeep vehicle still on sale showed sales gains, helping the brand report a 49 percent year-to-date sales boom to 275,796 units sold through May. This time last year, Jeep sold just 184,796 units.

Winner: Ram Pickup, 37,131 Units Sold, Up 17 Percent

Ram’s growth is holding strong in the ultra-competitive pickup market. Sales of the Ram pickup are now up to 170,711 through May, representing a 21 percent improvement over sales at this time last year. It was the best May sales showing since 2005. Heavy Duty pickups posted larger gains than Light Duty, with 34 and 14 percent increases, respectively.

Winner: Dodge Durango, 6071 Units Sold, Up 28 Percent

While the Ron Burgundy ads are over, the Durango’s popularity is still strong. This past month was the Durango’s best May sales since 2005. The Durango is one of the few consistently solid performers in Dodge’s lineup, which has a tendency to fluctuate month-to-month. Even though the Journey has sold well also, posting a 33 percent gain with 8833 units sold, the Durango is 18 percent ahead of its position last year through May, while the Journey is up 9 percent in year-to-date sales.

Loser: Dodge Avenger, 6055 Units Sold, Down 43 Percent

The Dodge Avenger continues on its downward spiral toward cancellation. Last year the Avenger was ahead of all Dodge vehicles except the Caravan, while it now stands ahead of only the Challenger and the ultra-low-volume Viper. It’s proving to be tough to sell off the remaining stock of Avenger cars, as year-to-date sales are down 34 percent with just 35,119 vehicles sold. For reference, Ram sold more pickups in May than the Avenger has sold all year. As a brand, Dodge is up 3 percent after sales of 57,923 this past month. Still, year-to-date sales are down 4 percent; perhaps Dodge’s newly-announced direction as a performance-focused brand can turn things around as the Chrysler 200 and forthcoming 100 sedans become the volume sellers for the company.

Wait and See: Chrysler 200, 3140 Units Sold, Down 76 Percent

A massive drop in sales for the Chrysler 200 is the result of the outgoing model ending production. Although the new 2015 Chrysler 200 arrived in dealerships at limited volumes in May, Chrysler doesn’t expect sales to take off until July. Still, there is a lot riding on the success of the new Chrysler 200, which will have to carry the weight of volume sales in the hyper-competitive mid-size segment. There are a lot of pieces to pick up right now, as May sales for the Chrysler brand were down 22 percent after just 22,592 vehicles were sold. Year-to-date, sales total 117,042, a dive of 14 percent compared to the same time last year.

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Having Chrysler as the mainstream sales division may make sense to Fiat but historically in the US, Chrysler has been a low volume selling division. Plymouth followed by Jeep and Dodge, and  then Chrysler in that order have been the been the best sellers in the past. Taking RAM from Dodge and making Dodge the performance division pretty well blows up the lineup for buyers. Of course M-B and Cerberus pretty well killed the lineup before Fiat arrived. Currently Fiat Chrysler is a two division company with Jeep and RAM the only commercially viable divisions. The Fiat division is on a long familiar road to nowhere followed by the Dodge and Chrysler divisions.

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