The cars are “Imported from Detroit,” but the money’s coming from everywhere: the Chrysler Group posted its best quarter since the company’s emergence from bankruptcy in 2009, more than quadrupling its net income over the same time period last year.
Chrysler’s net revenue for the first quarter of this year was $16.4 billion, up 25 percent from Q1 2011, but its net income in the first quarter was $473 million, more than four times the profit Chrysler made in the first quarter of last year. In fact, the Chrysler Group made more in this first quarter than it did all of last year–$473 million to $183 million. At this pace, the Chrysler Group could be on pace to meet or exceed its projected 2012 income of $1.5 billion.
Chrysler Group executives point to two reasons for the massive increase in income: higher sales, and increased efficiencies. Sales of Chrysler products were up 40 percent in the first quarter, and the company’s domestic market share expanded to 11.2 percent, thanks to brisk sales of cars like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, and Dodge Durango. The company is also paying less in debt interest, thanks to a May 2011 deal that privately refinanced a large chunk of its debt to the American and Canadian governments.
Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne told a conference call of analysts early Thursday morning that he was “incredibly satisfied” with Chrysler’s “outstanding performance.”
The continued success of Chrysler in North America could be bolstered by the 2013 Dodge Dart, which goes on sale later this summer.