Chrysler continues to move ahead with another month of year-over-year sales gains, as the company posted total sales of 198,379 units, a 20 percent increase over last year. The Jeep brand was the biggest winner with a 49 percent increase, with Ram not far behind at 39 percent growth over last year.
Winner: Jeep Cherokee, 18,674 Units Sold
The Jeep Cherokee compact crossover continues to propel the brand to new heights, and August 2014 was the model’s best sales month yet. The Cherokee was actually the best-selling Jeep model this month, beating out the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler, and was even the second-best-selling Chrysler Group model overall behind the perennially successful Ram Pickup. Along with the Patriot’s 27 percent increase and the Wrangler’s big 17,988 sales, the Cherokee helped bring the Jeep brand to a huge 49 percent increase over last month, with sales totaling 68,766 for the brand.
Winner: Ram Brand, 46,594 Units Sold, Up 39 Percent
All three Ram models were up significantly this month, with the Pickup posting a 33 percent gain to total 43,774 trucks sold this month. The minivan-based Cargo Van and the new ProMaster van model added a few thousand sales as well, making for a 39 percent increase for the brand overall. Ram is far outpacing its year-to-date sales as well, with its 2014 total of 298,650 representing a 24 percent increase over this time last year.
Wait and See: 2015 Chrysler 200, 10,810 Units Sold, Up 7 Percent
Chrysler is still selling carryover 2014 200 sedans alongside the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200, so it’s still too early to tell how much sales of the new car are contributing to the 10,810 units sold this month. As the old model is phased out though, we’ll see if Chrysler’s new sedan can compete in the midsize sedan big leagues, as 10,000 units still falls far short of the top sellers in this class.
Loser: Fiat 500L, 33 Units Sold, Down 97 Percent
The Fiat 500L hatchback was the worst-selling of all Chrysler Group models this month due to a knee airbag recall of 29,500 models that significantly affected sales. Even the Dodge Viper SRT supercar, which has been stagnating sales-wise, beat out the 500L with its 38 units sold. This hiccup brought the Fiat brand down 20 percent overall despite a 12 percent increase for the standard Fiat 500. Even despite this month’s anomaly, the Fiat 500L has not taken off, sales-wise, with only 8262 sold year-to-date so far compared to the standard 500’s 23,879 sales. Perhaps the new six-speed automatic transmission for the 2015 500L can turn things around for this slow-selling Italian compact.
Loser: Dodge Brand, 49,895 Units Sold, Down 6 Percent
Over the next few months, look for the Dodge brand’s sales numbers to decline as the Chrysler Group embarks on its five-year plan to make the Chrysler brand the mainstream, best-selling passenger car brand. Dodge will instead focus on making sportier niche products. It’s no surprise, then, that traditional big sellers like the Avenger midsize sedan (down 54 percent) and the Grand Caravan minivan (down 10 percent) will eventually be phased out of the lineup in favor of their Chrysler equivalents. Other Dodge models were down too, though, like the Durango and the Challenger, bringing the brand to a 6 percent decline compared with last year.