Chrysler's October 2012 Sales Up 10 Percent; Here's What Was Hot and Not

October was yet another good month for the Chrysler Group, at least in terms of new-car volumes. The company sold some 126,185 vehicles, which not only represents a 10-percent growth over last October, but the company’s best October sales result since 2007.

That total is largely composed of trucks: Chrysler’s Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands sold 87,730 vehicles last month, which is a 7-percent year-to-year increase. Car sales only accounted for 38,455 sales, but even that is an 18-percent increase over October 2011.

But what models had the biggest sales changes – both good and bad – in October? Here’s how things shook out.

WINNERS

Fiat 500: Fiat sold 3720 units in October, which is a sizeable 89-percent jump over October 2011’s sales figures. Thus far in 2012, Fiat sales have totaled 36,462, which is a 130-percent growth over the same period in 2011. Isn’t it amazing what additional product, an established dealer body, and proper advertising can do?

Dodge Grand Caravan: People movers remain popular at Chrysler, and Dodge’s Caravan remains in the lead. Sales rose 49 percent year-to-year in October, totaling 10,603 units. Fun fact: that also makes the Caravan the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. to wear a Dodge nameplate.

Chrysler 300: Chrysler’s flagship luxury sedan accounted for 5183 sales in October, which is a 40-percent increase over the 3701 it sold in October of 2011. Year-to-date figures for the 300 are equally healthy, as they’ve more than doubled over the same period in 2011.

Dodge Charger: Dodge’s version of the 300 is also seeing growth. Sales rose 36 percent to 4924 units last month.

Chrysler Town & Country: did we mention people movers are still hot at Chrysler? Town & Country sales in October grew 31 percent year-to-year, ringing in at 8281 vans.

LOSERS

Jeep Compass: Sales of Jeep’s little cute-ute fell 52 percent last month, totaling a scant 2486 units. Interestingly, its platform-mate, the Patriot, sold nearly twice that total while posting an 18-percent sales increase in the same month.

Chrysler 200: Although by volume, the 200 is the best-selling vehicle to wear a Chrysler badge in the United States, it’s the only member of Chrysler’s three-car portfolio to post a decrease in October. Sales totaled 8758 units, which represents a 22-percent decrease from last October. Year-to-date volumes are healthier, with the 200 posting a 56-percent increase in the first ten months of 2012.

Dodge Durango: With 3230 examples sold last month, Dodge’s large SUV came close to matching the 3864 sold last October, but instead posted another monthly decrease – 16 percent, to be exact. Sales thus far in 2012 are down 22 percent from the same period in 2011

Dodge Challenger: Volumes dropped 11 percent in October, coming in at 2686 units. However, the muscle machine is fairing somewhat better from a year-to-date perspective: At 36,309 units, sales in 2012 are about 9 percent higher than in 2011.

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD

Dodge Nitro: Production of Dodge’s badge-engineered Jeep Liberty ended in December of 2011, but new examples still trickle off dealer lots. 29 Nitros were sold in October 2012 – considering 2031 were sold last October, there’s a good chance they may be some of the very last to be sold.

Dodge Caliber: Dodge’s unloved small car ceased production in December, but dealers are still whittling away at leftover inventories. 92 were sold last month, which is a 95-percent decrease over the 1840 sold last October. Thus far in 2012, dealers have sold an astounding 10,113 Calibers.

Ram Dakota: Remember this thing? Production of Chrysler’s ancient mid-size pickup ended in August of 2011, but people – perhaps fleets? – continue to buy new-old stock. We think that trend is just about over, as only two Dakotas were sold in October, down from the 8 sold in September. Chrysler resorts to rounding, saying this represents a 100-percent decrease year-to-year.

Jeep Liberty: production of the current boxy, truck-like ute ended in August of 2012, but 4099 found new homes in October. That figure is down 32 percent from the 5997 examples sold in October of 2011.

BY VOLUME, THE TOP FIVE BEST-SELLING CHRYSLERS THUS FAR IN 2012 

  1. Ram Pickups: 238,815 units; up 20 percent year-over-year
  2. Jeep Grand Cherokee: 123,994 units; up 28 percent year-over-year
  3. Jeep Wrangler: 119,787 units; up 18 percent year-over-year
  4. Dodge Caravan: 118,730 units; up 28 percent year-over-year
  5. Chrysler 200: 109,025 units; up 56 percent year-over-year
Source: Chrysler

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