Chrysler Group August Sales Rise 12 Percent On Strong Jeep Growth

2013 Jeep Patriot front three quarter

Chrysler Group saw its sales rise 12 percent year-over-year to a total of 165,552 units last month. That was the company's strongest August sales figure since 2007, and the success was buoyed by healthy Jeep and truck sales.

Winner: Ram Pickup Line, 33,009 sales, up 31 percent

It may not match the heady sales numbers of the Ford F-Series, but the Ram pickup truck line continues to be a shining star in the Chrysler Group family. The August numbers represent the best August sales month for the Ram pickup since 2006 and the 40th month in which the model's sales increases year over year. In fact, so far this year Ram pickup sales are up 25 percent compared to the first eight months of 2012. Within this result, Ram said that sales of light-duty pickups rose 34 percent year-over-year, while heavy-duty models saw a 26-percent gain.

Winner: Dodge Journey, 8890 sales, up 12 percent

It hasn't been updated in some time and tallies fairly modest sales volumes, but Chrysler Group hasn't given up believing in its Dodge Journey crossover. In fact, last month the Journey posted its best sales month ever. What drove the gain? According to Automotive News data, Chrysler Group put cash incentives of $500-$1000 on the hood of the Journey last month.

Winner: Jeep Patriot, 7170 sales, up 42 percent

Both the Jeep Patriot and the Jeep Compass saw impressive sales gains last month, posting their best-ever August results; the latter saw its sales climb 40 percent year-over-year. As was the case with the Journey, the crossovers' sales were juiced by healthy incentives. According to AN, incentives hit as much as $2500 for the Patriot and stretched to $3000 for the Jeep Compass.

Winner: Jeep Grand Cherokee, 17,976 sales, up 40 percent

A refresh for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, including the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission and diesel engine, helped make the SUV even more appealing to customers, an outcome reflected in its healthy sales result. (Jeep didn't offer major sales incentives on the Grand Cherokee last month, further proving its appeal to consumers.) All told, the Jeep brand posted an eight-percent gain compared to August 2012. Its only sales decline came from the Liberty, which is out of production and will be replaced by the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Loser: Dodge Avenger, 6351 sales, down 20 percent

The Dodge Avenger midsize sedan struggled last month, even though so far this year the model's sales have increased 11 percent compared to the same period in 2012. A similar problem hit the Avenger's mechanical twin, the Chrysler 200 sedan and convertible. It saw sales drop 15 percent year-over-year in August, although through the end of August the 200 has enjoyed a three-percent sales gain compared to a year prior.

Loser: Dodge Grand Caravan, 12,569 sales, down 23 percent

The Dodge minivan hit a slump last month as its sales dropped by nearly a quarter compared to a year prior. In fact, overall this year the Dodge Grand Caravan has seen its popularity tumble by 15 percent compared to 2012 sales results. At the same time, the more expensive but similar Chrysler Town & Country minivan post an 11-percent sales gain in August, to 12,630 units, and is up three percent overall so far this year. Perhaps the van's special 30th Anniversary Edition packages will help bolster customer enthusiasm.

Loser: Fiat 500, 2976 sales, down 28 percent

The Italian-sourced runabout saw its sales fall again last month, and so far this year Fiat 500 sales are six percent off the pace set last year. The good news is that the addition of the 2014 Fiat 500L hatchback helped bolster the brand's overall sales. Thanks to the 1214 500Ls that found homes last month, the Fiat brand saw its sales rise one percent year-over-year.

Sources: Chrysler, Automotive News

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