When it comes to sales, it's all about new product. For the time being, Chrysler doesn't have much of that, which may help to explain why sales in January 2010 slid 8 percent to 57,143 units.
Some may question the decision to split the Ram pickups from the Dodge brand, but it did help the latter to post a sales increase, something Chrysler's other three brands were unable to do. Dodge itself managed to eke out a 1-percent sales increase, while Chrysler sales fell 2 percent. Jeep sales were down 7 percent, while the Ram brand dropped 25 percent.
The Journey crossover continues to be the sales star at Dodge. 4790 examples were sold, marking a 55-percent increase over January 2009. Other notables included the Avenger sedan, up 44 percent to 3134 units, and the Grand Caravan, which jumped 34 percent to 4298. Caliber sales were up a scant 4 percent, while Challenger and Viper sales dropped 39 and 80 percent, respectively.
At Chrysler, the picture is slightly more grim. The Sebring witnessed a huge rebound, as sales jumped 85 percent to 3593 units. The Town & Country minivan continues to be the top seller, with 4531 examples (a 6-percent increase) moving off showroom floors. The remainder of the lineup, however, was sagging -- 300 sales were down 26 percent, and sales of the ancient PT Cruiser dropped 32 percent.
Jeep saw sales of its compact Compass skyrocket 52 percent to 1244 units, although the similar Patriot slid 7 percent to 1972 vehicles. The Grand Cherokee and Commander posted gains, up 6 and 22 percent, respectively. The Wrangler remains the brand's best-selling vehicle with 4888 copies sold in January, but is still off last year's number of 6362 units. The number-three seller, the Liberty, fell 11 percent to 2987 vehicles.
Slow truck sales truly hurt the Ram brand, which is comprised entirely of trucks. Sales of the new Ram pickup (especially in 1500 form) have helped bolster Chrysler as a company, but even Chrysler's best-selling vehicle saw sales slide 22 percent. Dakota sales, meanwhile, dropped 32 percent to 994 vehicles.