It’s not clear how much of that increase is retail or fleet sales but one thing’s for sure: the new Grand Cherokee is hot. To say the SUV’s 12,721 units sold this October compares well to the 3256 sold last October would be an understatement.
The Jeep brand more than doubled sales from last October but don’t think the Grand Cherokee is the only reason for that boost. Every Jeep model except for the phased out Commander was up at least 46 percent. As revised 2011 Chrysler models head to dealerships, expect more sales increases company-wide and additional retail sales, too.
“Our new Jeep Grand Cherokee created a consumer buzz that generated showroom traffic and sales,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of the Ram brand. “Now we’re sparking more consumer excitement as we release images and details about our all-new and significantly-refreshed products arriving in dealerships this quarter.”
Behind the Grand Cherokee in sales was the Wrangler with 7908 units, up 49 percent compared to last October. Year-to-date, the Wrangler is still Jeep’s most popular model.
At Dodge, the Caliber experienced a wild sales increase of 376 percent, to 2777 units. The pre-refresh Avenger midsize sedan was down 31 percent in October year-over-year, but still sold better than the mechanically similar Chrysler Sebring lineup.
The more muscular Dodge Charger sedan was down 17 percent for the month but remains up 40 percent year-to-date — and that’s before the new Charger fills dealerships. The Challenger sold a third better than last October and is up almost 50 percent through the first 10 months of the year. Thirty-seven Vipers left dealerships last month as well.
In the Dodge SUV department, sales of the Nitro jumped 50 percent while the Journey was flat. Dodge still managed to sell 58 Durangos last month. The introduction of the Durango may cannibalize a few sales from the Jeep Grand Cherokee when it debuts, but consider the hike in Dodge sales when sales begin. In October, Dodge sales were already up 3 percent.
Things are positive at the Ram brand, with the Ram truck selling 17,316 units, compared to the 12,262 of October 2009. The Dakota contributed 774 sales, above the 515 from last October. Ram brand sales were up 37 percent year-over-year but down 1 percent year-to-date.
Chrysler sales improved by 29 percent compared to October 2009. The Chrysler Town & Country accounted for 51 percent of all Chrysler sales in October; the model was up 18 percent. The 300 sedan had sales increase a surprising 79 percent in October and the model is up 6 percent year-to-date. The mostly unloved Sebring lineup was down 13 percent year-over-year, but sales have increased 79 percent year-to-date.
We’re eager to see what effect Chrysler’s new 2011 models will have on retail and total sales in the months to come. How do you think the refreshed and redesigned models will affect Chrysler sales?