AUBURN HILLS, Michigan -- Chrysler Group reported $1.7 billion in net income for 2012 on Wednesday, up from $183 million income for '11. That's based on net revenue of $65.8 billion, up 20 percent from fiscal '11's $55 billion. Last year, Chrysler did well with refreshed models like its rental favorite Chrysler 200, as its new Dodge Dart got off to a slow start, but the company scored big on high-margin trucks and SUVs.
A good portion of Chrysler's improved '12 results were attributed to its payoff of federal government debt by the second quarter of '11, which cost the company $551 million.
The Ram pickup remains its most popular model, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler often competed for its second spot in sales. Chrysler says its global vehicle sales for the year totaled 2.2 million, up 18 percent over calendar year '11, with fourth-quarter sales of 533,000. This does not include Fiat Auto products.
Chrysler Group's fourth-quarter net income was $378 million on $17.2 billion revenue, up 68 percent over the fourth quarter of '11. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that while he's pleased with the financial results, "the enterprise we are crafting is not complete.
"Our aim is meaningful, but it is not complicated, and only a preoccupation with quality can achieve it," Marchionne said in a prepared statement. "We pause for a moment to enjoy our accomplishments, but we will not stop. Our continued achievement relies upon maintaining a humble spirit and an intense focus on the integrity of our work. And so we press on."
Ford Motor Company on Tuesday released fiscal results befitting a much larger company than Chrysler, though profitability in Dearborn began to slow in 2012. Ford reported $5.86 billion in net income for last year, with an $8-billion pre-tax profit that was $0.8 billion lower than '11. Ford's '12 revenues were $134.3 billion, $2.0 billion lower than '11 as its sales mix skewed away from trucks.
Chrysler also benefits from having separate balance sheets with majority owner Fiat. Ford lost $1.75 billion in Europe in 2012.