A year ago, Chrysler used one word to qualify nearly every sales figure it gave in its June 2009 sales report: Retail. Today, Chrysler blithely reports that overall sales were up 35 percent, but fails to use the “R” word even once in its June 2010 release, suggesting that it benefited from heavy fleet sales in the face of an otherwise soggy market. How else do you sell 3,978 Sebrings and 6,400 Avengers in a month? The fact that Dodge saw a 67 percent increase, although that was largely in comparison to the utterly wretched June the brand endured last year. In fact, compared to its relatively strong May performance of 104,819 units, Chrysler shed about 10k sales, falling to 92,482 total sales. That’s under the 95k monthly “survival” rate cited by CEO Sergio Marchionne. All this while Chrysler spends an estimated $1.4b on advertising this year. This, to paraphrase another automotive blogger, is beyond the valley of the not so good.
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