Chrysler Group continues its upward sales trend in April, recording its 49th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Chrysler posted its best April sales since 2007, totaling 178,652 vehicles. Already in 2014 Chrysler is 12 percent ahead of year-to-date sales at this time in 2013, with 654,616 vehicles sold. Truck and SUV sales accounted for 78.3 percent of April sales; car sales fell 26 percent compared to last year with just 38,697 units sold.
Winner: Ram Pickup, 36,674 Units Sold, Up 17 Percent
The Ram Pickup has been on a winning streak over the past few months, and capped it off last month with record April sales. Deliveries for the Ram pickup improved by 17 percent over the previous April, with 36,674 vehicles sold. Through 2014 so far, Ram pickup year-to-date sales of 133,580 represent a 23 percent growth over last year. While the pickups are of course the bulk of sales, the Ram Cargo Van sold 1,263 Cargo Vans in April, a 77 percent improvement over last year’s 715 units.
Winner: Jeep Brand, Up 52 Percent
March 2014 was Jeep’s best sales month ever, and now April broke that record by nearly 2,000 units, totaling 59,754 vehicles. The brand is up 46 percent in year-to-date sales, with 205,593 vehicles sold so far. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee both performed well, with 15,652 and 15,007 vehicles sold in April, respectively. The Wrangler off-roader’s 15,389 units sold is 14 percent better than in April 2013. Although much lower volume at 5,367 units, the Jeep Compass also eked out its best sales month ever, and is up 16 percent through 2014 compared to last year.
Loser: Dodge Avenger, 7,324 Units Sold, Down 32 Percent
The Avenger is a strong example of the market’s dwindling interest in Chrysler Group passenger cars. We learned months ago that it will not be replaced at the end of its lifecycle, but Chrysler might have a hard time selling off what inventory they have left. Not only is the Avenger down 32 percent in April sales, but it is also 32 percent behind 2013’s year-to-date sales—only 29,064 vehicles have been as of now through 2014.
Loser: Chrysler 200, 4,204 Units Sold, Down 66 Percent
Chrysler is slowing down production of the Chrysler 200 before the next-generation 2015 200 arrives mid-2014. Still, a 66 percent drop to 4,204 vehicles sold is dramatic. Even with the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country managing to grow 16 percent in April, the Chrysler brand still took a 21 percent hit because of paltry Chrysler 200 sales. Chrysler has a lot riding on the success of the new 200, and it surely hopes monthly sales of just 21,967 units for the brand will be in the rear-view mirror.
Wait and See: Fiat Brand, Up 10 Percent
Fiat has turned things around as of March, but the small-car maker is still on uncertain ground. The brand’s total sales of 4,298 represent a respectable growth of 10 percent over April 2013, but 500 sales continue to skid. A dip of 22 percent in April sales is bad news for the 500, although Fiat hopes the recent addition of an automatic transmission to 500 Abarth models will increase their appeal to buyers. 500L sales of 1,257 units in April were almost level with March’s 1,422 units, but Fiat needs to make a bigger push with both the 500L and 500 if it wants to do anything more than fight for survival.