Chrysler saw its sales increase 25 percent last month, for its best year-over-year performance in “almost five years,” according to the company. On the other hand, sales improved only 3 percent compared to last March’s results and only barely met Chrysler’s 95k minimum sales goal (at 95,703 units). Still, this is the best sales news the company has had since well before emerging from bankruptcy. For those who think Chrysler has a shot at survival, this is the first evidence in a long time that actually supports their optimism.
The Chrysler brand saw a 61 percent sales improvement, as Sebring volume jumped 207 percent to 4,053 units. Town & Country sales rose 80 percent to 13,367 units and 300 sales improved 40 percent to 4,127 units. PT Cruiser fell 41 percent to 838 units.
Jeep sales fell by 25 units, but weak sales of its more profitable Wrangler (-11 percent), Grand Cherokee (-6 percent) and Commander (-20 percent) units were offset by strong Compass (+103 percent) and Patriot (+21 percent) sales.
Avenger followed its Sebring twin, up 340 percent to 6,000 units even. Charger sales growth echoed the 300′s increase as well, rising 90 percent to 8,944 units. Challenger sales recovered as well, rising 42 percent to 3,713 units. Caravan swung upwards as well, recording 10,435 units for a 56 percent increase. Caliber was also up 44 percent, and Nitro was up 14 percent, as Dodge hit a 61 percent improvement over last April’s sales.
Chrysler’s biggest problem area continues to be the Ram pickup. The relatively new truck (including the brand-new Heavy Duty models) saw sales slide 24 percent to 13,665 units of its best-selling and most profitable vehicle.Dakota improved 36 percent, but still recorded only 1,192 units. As TTAC has explained, Chrysler needs those Ram sales to pick up soon if it wants to build on this momentum and return positive financial results that don’t depend wholly on cost-cutting.