The Chrysler Group sold 127,183 vehicles this month, an 8 percent increase over January of last year. Although total truck and SUV sales for the company were strong this month, with a 25 percent increase up to 93,082 units sold, car sales took a big hit, with only 34,101 units sold this month which made for a 21 percent decline over last year. Still, Chrysler was the only big three automaker to post a sales increase this month, as Ford and General Motors were down 7 and 12 percent, respectively.
Winner: Jeep Brand, Up 38 Percent
The Jeep brand continues to outsell all other Chrysler Group brands, with 41,910 units sold this month. This is due in large part to the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee crossover, which continued its strong sales this month with 10,505 units sold. That beats this month’s total for the Jeep Wrangler and comes in just behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 12,207 units sold. All other Jeep models were up this month as well, with the Jeep Compass posting the biggest jump with a 31 percent increase over last year.
Winner: Chrysler 200, 10,912 Units Sold, Up 23 Percent
This month saw the appearance of the brand-new 2015 Chrysler 200 at the 2014 Detroit auto show, yet the outgoing 200 still had a strong month in January, with sales up 23 percent from last year. Its total of 10,912 units sold is nearly double what it sold in December, and the Chrysler 200 was even the third best-selling Chrysler Group vehicle this month after the Ram Pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The reason for this sudden surge is likely a push to start clearing out inventory of the current 200 before the new model arrives later this spring.
Winner: Ram Pickup, 25,071 Units Sold, Up 22 Percent
The Ram Pickup had a strong month in January with a 22 percent increase over last year. Although this month’s sales of 25,071 units lag behind competitors from Chevrolet and Ford (the Ford F-Series alone sold 46,536 units last month), the Ram Pickup’s success is still important for the Ram brand overall, as other models like the Caravan-based Cargo Van and the new ProMaster commercial van sell in such small volumes that the Ram Pickup makes up 96 percent of the brand’s sales overall.
Loser: Dodge Brand, Down 19 Percent
Every single Dodge model was down this month except for its family haulers, the Dodge Caravan and the Dodge Durango. The Dodge Avenger was hit hardest with only 4795 units sold this month, a decrease of 50 percent over January of last year. We know now that there will be no new Dodge Avenger based on the new Chrysler 200, so it’s possible that Dodge is winding down production of this model in anticipation of its demise. This rough start for Dodge dragged down the Chrysler Group overall, as the company only posted an eight percent gain overall this month despite double-digit sales upticks from Fiat, Jeep, and Ram.
Loser: Fiat 500L, 729 Units Sold
Although the addition of the Fiat 500L to the relatively flat Fiat 500 sales numbers gives the Fiat brand a 29 percent increase over last year, January was actually the worst sales month for the 500L since it went on sale in June. Although we previously predicted that the 500L would challenge the smaller 500 in the Fiat lineup, sales of the larger Fiat just haven’t taken off, as Fiat sold more than triple the number of 500s as it did 500Ls this month.