By on May 3, 2010

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.

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31 Comments on “Stop The Presses: Chrysler Records 25 Percent Sales Increase In April...”


  • avatar
    John Horner

    The whole “Ram Brand” rebranding effort was a stupid move and should be unwound, stat. Ford, GM and even Toyota all turned in strong upsides for their trucks. That means Chrysler was a huge market share looser.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand this at all. Chrysler says Ram is still “part of” Dodge. So why does it have a separate name? At the same dealer? Confusing. And as they say, if a consumer is confused they go elsewhere.

      And Chrysler sales up? Note to hell: all fans off! Cold wave comin”!

      John

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Here in Texas Fiasler has been advertising $10,000 of MSRP on the Ram pick up. So, it should be doing better than this month’s sales figures.

      Who is buying all the Sebrings?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      +1.

      Separating “Dodge” and “Ram” was a terrible idea.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    Potential customer: Oh, is this the new Dodge Ram?

    RAM Dealer: AHEM…actually this is the new RAM 1500.

    Potential customer: But there’s a Dodge logo on this Ram.

    RAM Dealer: That’s the RAM logo.

    Potential customer: I know, the Dodge logo is a Ram.

    RAM Dealer: No sir, not anymore. The RAM logo is a ram.

    Potential customer: So what’s the Dodge logo, then?

    RAM Dealer: Two red diagonal stripes next to the Dodge logotype.

    Potential customer: You guys still sell the Dodge Dakota?

    RAM Dealer: It’s the Dakota by RAM now.

    Potential customer: Good-bye!

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    The Town & Country/Caravan is still carrying the company. These are still pretty good vehicles and promise to get better with a 2011 refresh on the way. Still, in the 3rd year of a model cycle, these are still putting up some pretty good numbers.
    My question is whether they are making money on these minivans. In my area, dealers are offering some VERRRRY attractive terms.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    4/26/10: Hertz buys Dollar-Thrifty to become largest car rental agency …in the world.

    5/4/10: Chrysler Records 25 Percent Sales Increase In April; Sebring up 207%

    Coincidence? You decide.

  • avatar
    thalter

    While Chrysler might be nominally be hitting their sales number target, I’m sure they are missing their sales mix target. I’m sure their break-even calculation banked on a higher percentage of high-margin truck sales that they are currently getting.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The Town & Country and Caravan Sold 24,000 units between the two of them. That’s more than twice the volume of the Honda Odyssey, and 4-5 times the volume of the more trendy Ford Flex. Their published discounts didn’t seem to be any more generous than what they’ve been running for 4-5 years now. Did they have some kind of dealer-cash incentive?

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      When you figure in the sales of the Dodge Journey (which is really the short wheel base Caravan) it’s even more impressive. I do think the discontinuing the swb Caravan was a mistake though. The Flex has been a major sales disappointment at Ford from day one.

  • avatar
    johngalt

    Chrysler sales may be up 25% from last year, but last April was the single worst sales month in 50 years. They had nowhere to go but up. Nothing to get too excited about.
    And JP, minivan sales are steady but way down from just a few years ago. April combined Caravan & T&C sales are down almost 39% from April 2007. And there are a whole lot of fleets in the April 2010 numbers.
    Current Canadian discounts on Caravan & T&C range from $7,000 to $11,000. No money to be made there.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      Chrysler sales may be up 25% from last year, but last April was the single worst sales month in 50 years. They had nowhere to go but up. Nothing to get too excited about.

      Lithia Motors disagrees with you they claim year-to-year sales numbers aren’t going to be indicative due to the heavy incentives Chrysler placed on vehicles last year. Also remember, this was when Jim Press was begging dealers to take vehicles in order to stave off bankruptcy. How quickly we forget …

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      On the minivan sales, I think what you’re seeing with respect to the apparent market share gain of the Chrysler vans relative to Honda/Toyota is a combination of factors: Minivan sales are down in general, Honda’s got a stale product and has previewed its new van, Toyota has a new van launching in the midst of their largest reliability question mark ever, the Chrysler vans are available with more equipment/options packages at lower sticker prices than the Honda (limited option stratification) or Toyota (downright confounding options), plus even average/typical incentives on Chryslers are higher than the competition.

      With the market being distilled to core minivan customers in a recession, price (value) wins out over fancier design and untested product. Having been in the market, I can attest to the fact that a new minivan generally seems to be priced ever further out of reach of the core market of young families (i.e. me).

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      “Having been in the market, I can attest to the fact that a new minivan generally seems to be priced ever further out of reach of the core market of young families (i.e. me).”

      I don’t know your personal situation but how cheap do you want these things to be? Last year during clunker cash, I replaced my ’96 T&C with a much better equipped and more evolved ’09 Routan (thinly disguised T&C) and I paid less for the new one than I had 13 years previously.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Jack Denver, that’s my point exactly. The Chryslers are the only ones available for reasonable prices ad mid-market equipment levels. Comparing the Odyssey EX (no leather) w/DVD to a similarly-equipped Chrysler T&C you could add leather and the fancy consoles and the T&C still prices out less than the Honda.

      Also remember over the past 13 years the minivan market has pretty well imploded.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    That’s not a MOPAR, is it?

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Good for Chrysler. Got to start on a sales uptick somewhere.

  • avatar

    You know guys, I crawled all over the (square) Liberty at a show, and everything about it looks really great (except perhaps the electric switch for the transfer case — I would rather have a lever). In Wrangler, the back of my head hits on the roll cage, but in Liberty I’m quite comfortable. Actually it’s way better than the previous (round) Liberty. If only that thing weren’t made by Chrysler, I’d totally buy it next week in preference to FJ (too bulky and quirky) and Pathfinder (too expensive).

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      The Liberty is projected to get 22 mpg on the highway and is the size of the CR-V (27 mpg) and RAV4 which approach 30 mpg. Seriously? The size is right, the looks are right but for 22 mpg I’ll choose something much larger.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Chrysler’s overall sales up 25%!?!?

    Wow… Gasp… Amazing…

    They are and will continue to be a second tier- anus- of the automobile industry.

  • avatar
    revjasper

    My Avis rental is a brand spanking new Avenger R/T. So it’s not just DTG and Hertz brands snapping these up at fire sale prices.

    Unfortunately the new R/T doesn’t mean V6, it means anemic I-4 with 4 speed automatic and leather seats. Still, for some reason, it seems nicer than Avenger rentals from last year. The chemicals used to tan leather going to my brain? 6 disc MP3 changer with error messages about DVD media confusing me into thinking it’s a better car? Maybe the best and brightest can help!

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    25 points-that’s great.Hope the trend continues.

  • avatar
    TG57

    Anyone else notice how Avenger sales are *exactly* 6000 units?

    04-05-10 – Hertz orders 2,000 Dodge Avengers

    04-15-10 – Enterprise orders 2,000 Dodge Avengers

    04-26-10 – Avis orders 2,000 Dodge Avengers

  • avatar
    mjz

    They should call all the trucks Dodge RAM, and maybe eventually go to simply RAM, they moved too fast on this and the market is not responding well. Their truck sales should be much better because the big Ram trucks are pretty nice.

  • avatar

    I love that picture. Chrysler made awesome cars in the 60′s. Quality, reliability and performance-something totally forgotten in this age of computerized junkboxes. I have owned a 67 Newport, 69 Newport,69 Fury, 64 Windsor, 66 New Yorker and 64 300. These cars make their new offerings look like complete junk.


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