Chrysler June 2012 Sales Rise 20 Percent; What Cars Hot, What Cars Were Not?

Chrysler’s long string of monthly sales gains continues to grow even longer. The company announced June U.S. sales across its Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat brands amounted to 144,811 vehicles. For those keeping score, that makes last month Chrysler’s best June in nearly five years. “June was another solid month for the Chrysler Group, with U.S. sales up 20 percent and second-quarter sales increasing 24 percent compared to 2011,” said Chrysler sales chief Reid Bigland in a prepared statement. “June also marked our 27th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. Continuous improvement remains a key focus at Chrysler as we have steadily increased sales, improved quality, added production, and created jobs.” According to Chrysler, each of its five core brands saw sales increase last month. Fiat led the way by jumping 122 percent, followed by Chrysler sales rising 63 percent, and Jeep volumes improving by 23 percent year-to-year. Ram saw sales of its truck range increase 11 percent in June, but Dodge only mustered a two-percent uptick – perhaps that may soon be bolstered by the 2013 Dart, which is still trickling into dealers nationwide. What Was Hot? Chrysler 300: Chrysler’s big sedan continues to post some big growth. 6971 cars were sold last month, which is a 179-percent jump over the 2500 sold in June of 2011. This isn’t a new trend, as 300 sales for the first half of 2012 – some 40,801 vehicles -- are up an equally amazing 198 percent over the same period last year. Incentives may have a hand in this growth, but so could a full-fledged 300 portfolio, which now includes 300S, 300C, 300 Luxury Series, and 300 SRT8 variants. Fiat 500: The second largest jump on Chrysler’s spreadsheet appears to be the cheeky little 500; as June 2012 volumes totaled 4004 units while June 2011 sales amounted to only 1803 cars, it appears to be a 122 percent jump. That said, the figure is a bit tricky: in June 2011, the 500 had only been on sale in the U.S. for all of two months, and volumes were still ramping up. Further complicating the matter is the June 2012 figure also accounts for two variants – the 500C and 500 Abarth – that were unavailable last year. Dodge Avenger: Who says milquetoast midsize sedans don’t sell? Volumes of the aging Avenger jumped 68% last month to 9404 vehicles. Avenger sales have risen nearly 73 percent in the first half of the year, totaling a commendable 52,862 units. We wouldn’t be too surprised if June incentives – which placed nearly $3000 on the hood of every Avenger – helped spur last month’s sales. Chrysler 200: The Avenger’s mechanical twin also saw sizable growth last month, as 200 sales increased 51 percent to 10,871 deliveries. Year-to-date volumes have more than doubled, amounting to 69,102 cars thus far in 2012. Could incentives – which match the $3000 offered on the Avenger – be playing a part, or are consumers still resonating with the “Imported from Detroit” campaign? Jeep Liberty: The Liberty isn’t Jeep’s volume leader –that honor still falls to the Wrangler – but the Liberty, which is due to be replaced by a Fiat-derived vehicle early next year, did see an uptick in sales in June. Sales totaled 7892, which represents a 50% increase over the same timeframe last year. Year-to-date totals are on the rise, but a bit more modestly: that figure, some 42,339 deliveries, is up 35 percent over last year’s 31,300. What May Soon Be Hot? Dodge Dart: Production of Dodge’s latest-and-greatest small car only began in May, but some cars began trickling to dealers in select regions last month. Lo and behold, 202 cars slid off the lot. Expect this number to grow considerably over the next six months. What Wasn’t So Hot? Dodge Grand Caravan: Chrysler’s Town & Country people mover saw its sales rise 32 percent in June, but its Dodge sibling wasn’t so lucky. Grand Caravan volumes rose ever-so-slightly from 10,822 units in June 2011 to 10,901 last month. Year-to-date, however, the Grand Caravan has witnessed a 21-percent growth in sales, ringing in at 68,964 vehicles. Dodge Durango: one of the only Dodge models to post a double-digit drop in sales that isn’t discontinued, or slated to die in coming months. Sales slid 43 percent to 3295 units this past month, down from 5827 last June. Year-to-date totals are also sliding, albeit not quite as much: in the first six months, Dodge has sold 21,446 Durangos, down 9 percent from the 23,571 units it sold in the same time span last year. Jeep Compass/ Patriot: These two won’t be replaced until the summer of 2014, but sales did slide last month. Patriot sales fell four percent to 5590 vehicles last month, but Compass volumes tumbled 15 percent from 4763 to 4070 vehicles. Year-to-date volume changes don't exactly mirror June's result: Compass sales in 2012 have thus far amounted to 20,513 (down 1 percent from last year's 20,761), while Patriot sales are up 12 percent to 32,707 units. What’s Dead Yet Still Selling? Dodge Caliber: Production ended in December 2011, but dealers are still clearing out Calibers to make way for the 2013 Dart. 18 Calibers were sold in June 2012, which is a fraction of the 1185 sold in June 2011. Only 104 examples were sold in the first six months of this year. Dodge Nitro: Production ceased in late 2011, yet 81 Nitro SUVs found new homes in June 2012. Amazingly, 3137 have been sold in 2012, which is a quarter of the volume sold in the first six months of 2011. Ram Dakota: Dodge’s midsize pickup seems to never die – it keeps popping up in sales results despite the fact production ended in August 2011 -- but it may finally be close to its deathbed. 18 units were sold last month, and only 459 have found new homes in the first half of 2012. Source: Chrysler

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