Chrysler announced its November sales this morning, marking a 14-percent boost over the same month last year, the 32nd month that the company had year-over-year sales gains. November 2012 sales totaled 122,565 units. Compared with 2011, year-to-date sales are also up 22 percent to 1,499,420 vehicles sold in the first 11 months of 2012.
Surprise, surprise – the best-selling vehicle from all of Chrysler's five brands was the Ram full-size pickup truck. Selling almost twice as many copies as the second-best selling Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram moved 24,337 pickups last month, an increase of 23 percent over November 2011. In fact, Chrysler has sold just 19,302 less Ram pickups so far this year than the 282,454 cars the Chrysler brand has sold overall in 2012. Expect the upward sales trend for the Ram pickup to continue as the last of the 2012s move off the lot and the substantially upgraded 2013 Ram 1500 continues to proliferate in showrooms.
Jeep has two winners in its five-model lineup: the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler. Both SUVs continue to be strong sellers for the automaker – the Grand Cherokee's sales stayed flat year-over-year with 13,619 units sold last month (its best month since 2005), but, at 10,337 copies, Wrangler sales swelled 12 percent from last year. Not only are the two Jeeps the second- and third-best-selling vehicles from Chrysler this month, they are also in the same positions for the entire year; however, the Dodge Grand Caravan is just 2816 units shy of trouncing the Wrangler year-to-date for the first 11 months of 2012 (127,308 versus 130,124).
It looks like Chrysler's decision to keep the Dodge Grand Caravan as the company's only minivan may be the right choice after all. The Grand Caravan was the fourth-best seller in November 2012, representing a huge 42-percent increase over November 2011 and a total of 8578 vans moved off dealers' lots. (The Chrysler Town & Country sold just 6636 copies.)
Jeep may have two of Chrysler's strongest sellers, but it also has two of the automaker's weakest sellers. Unsurprisingly, both the Compass and Liberty are due to be replaced within the next 15 months, but the Compass took the hardest hit once again – its sales fell 36 percent from last November, down to just 2715 units, making it the least-sold vehicle of Chrysler’s portfolio. The Liberty wasn't far behind, slipping 19 percent to 4202 copies. Interestingly, the Patriot, a twin of the Compass, had nearly flat sales (4147 sold, a gain of just four percent).
While we're still waiting for Ford and General Motors to announce their November sales numbers, expect the Dodge Challenger to once again be the runt of the muscle car wars. This past month, Dodge sold 2868 copies of the coupe, a stumble of four percent. The Mustang and Camaro? Well, they sold 5328 and 5122 copies last month, respectively.
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Remember the Dodge Caliber? You know, the little-loved hatchback that has since been replaced by the Dart sedan? Somehow, Dodge dealers managed to convince 32 buyers to put their butts into the driver's seats of the blocky hatch, bringing the dead-as-of-last-year Caliber's 2012 total sales to 10,145.