Following in the footsteps of February’s four-percent sales increase, Chrysler announced today that its U.S. volumes in March 2013 increased five percent year-over-year, totaling 171,606 units. Chrysler’s happy to boast about March being its 36th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains, but more importantly, its first-quarter sales in 2013 are up eight percent compared to the same period in 2012.
What model lines saw the biggest swings in March?
Dodge Challenger: People are apparently still clamoring for Mopar muscle, as Challenger sales increased a whopping 42 percent year-to-year, totaling 6132 units. This is the fourth consecutive month where Challenger volumes grew by 20 percent or more, and the best monthly sales figure for the model since its re-introduction in 2008. Perhaps the $2000 cash incentive on 2013 Challengers offered in March helped spur this growth.
Dodge Avenger: Chrysler’s midsize sedan models continue to sell relatively well despite their age, and in March, the Avenger led the way. Sales increased 33 percent to a whopping 12,439 units, making it the best-selling Dodge-branded vehicle last month.
Jeep Compass: Jeep purists may loathe the thing, but it seems small crossover shoppers actually like the C-segment Compass. Sales grew 28 percent in March, amounting to 5111 units. Jeep says that volume was constrained by the switch over to the 2014 Compass, which boasts a number of small refinements and the adoption of a proper six-speed automatic transaxle.
Ram Pickups: Chrysler also says the launch of the updated 2013 Ram 1500 and 2013 Ram Heavy Duty models negatively impacted volumes in the first quarter, but it didn’t seem to affect Ram pickup sales in March. 33,831 units were sold last month, marking a 25 percent year-to-year increase, and an increase of 10,542 trucks over February 2013.
Dodge Durango: Durango sales largely slumped in 2012, but things seem to be looking up in 2013. For the third straight month, Dodge’s large SUV posted year-over-year sales increases. In March, volumes increased 19 percent to 5441 units. Year to date, 13,570 Durangos have been sold – a mild but healthy increase over the 11,046 sold in the same period in 2012.
Chrysler 300: From a volume perspective, March proved to be the 300’s best sales month in 2013 thus far – but compared to 300 volumes in March 2012, it’s falling a bit behind. Chrysler sold 5686 300 sedans last month, which is a 22-percent stumble year-over-year.
Dodge Grand Caravan: The good news? Grand Caravan sales are slowly coming back from after dropping 65 percent in January of 2013. The bad news? Grand Caravan sales are still down year-over-year. In March 2013, Dodge sold 11,110 vans, but that still represents a 19-percent fall from the 13,700 sold in March of 2012.
Jeep Grand Cherokee: Much like last month, Chrysler attributes this drop in volume to switching over its assembly plant in Detroit to build the 2014 Grand Cherokee. As such, Grand Cherokee volumes rang in at 12,629, roughly 1400 vehicles shy of the 14,096 sold in March 2012.
BRING OUT YOUR DEAD: Sales of the long-departed Dodge Caliber and Nitro and Dodge/Ram Dakota amounted to zero units, but Jeep dealers are still working to clear out the last remaining Liberty SUVs from their lots. 1408 units found new homes in March, and 4972 have been sold thus far in 2013. Impressive, considering Liberty production in Toledo, Ohio, ground to a halt back in August 2012.
BRING OUT YOUR NEW: Chrysler announced last week that the first batch of 2013 SRT Vipers left the factory in Detroit, but it seems three were actually delivered to customers in the last days of March.
FIVE BEST-SELLING CHRYSLER PRODUCT LINES IN MARCH, BY VOLUME