Chrysler January Sales Down 54.8%

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chrysler january sales down 54 8

Well, you knew it was going be ugly. This one’s Medusa class. January sales fell 54.8 percent vs. last January, from 137,392 to 62,157 vehicles. Breaking that into bits, car sales sank 66 percent (15,747) while trucks tumbled 49 percent to (46,410). Chrysler fingered two culprits. First up, fleet sales. Believe it or not, the company claimed credit for the 81 percent fall from their “normal” fleet sales total. Apparently, the drop “aligned with the Company’s sales strategy helping to maintain or improve the overall residual value of Chrysler vehicles for our customers.” Second, tight credit.

“Chrysler LLC received the first $4 billion installment of our $7 billion bridge loan from the U.S. Treasury in early January,” said Jim Press, President and Vice Chairman – Chrysler LLC. “However, it wasn’t until later in the month that Chrysler Financial received its $1.5 billion loan, greatly enhancing its ability to support our dealers and provide credit to our customers. We were very encouraged and working closely with Chrysler Financial, were immediately able to introduce our zero percent financing for customers.”

While there’s no question that the credit market has had a devastating impact on new car sales, it’s also true that people aren’t buying Jack. And, most importantly for the taxpayer suckling car company that’s paying rent to the company that owns its Auburn Hills HQ (same company, but who’s counting?), in the Land of Sales Suckage, Chrysler is King. And yet, ChryCo still refuses to accept any responsibility for the current carnage.

“Consumer credit, versus consumer demand, influenced our January retail results. We saw a negative trend in December, we’re seeing it again this month and we could see it for the year. Many more consumers wanted to buy a vehicle than could qualify for financing under the current credit conditions,” said Steven Landry, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing, MOPAR Parts and Service. “But, even though the economic environment remains extraordinarily difficult, near the end of the month we began to gain some sales traction with zero percent financing available through Chrysler Financial, and the addition of our new Chrysler Employee Pricing Plus Plus incentive.”

Truth be told, Chrysler could offer Employee Pricing Plus Plus Plus Plus Plus, and they’d still be dead in the water. I’m sorry for the American car industry, but it’s time for these people to find some other way to make a living. And if we’re paying, do we get to choose?

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  • Geeber Geeber on Feb 04, 2009

    Spitfire: Thanks! SherbornSean: I learned to drive on a 1973 AMC Gremlin. The scary part is that, at that time, the Gremlin was probably the best all-around American subcompact. Interesting that you were taught by Gerry Meyers. I'll bet that he had some interesting stories to tell. I'd love to hear how the 1974 Matador coupe and 1975 AMC Pacer ever made it to production. We thought that the Matador looked strange even then. The Pacer looked futuristic for the time, but underneath it was more of the same old stuff, chopped and butchered to fit under that short, wide body shell. menno: Interesting history there! I don't know if Studebaker deliberately lied to Packard about its breakeven point. If I recall, Studebaker genuinely believed that the lower figure was accurate, which shows just how out-of-touch the corporation's management was in the early 1950s!

  • Tedward Tedward on Feb 04, 2009

    folkdancer Spitfire already posted a link to the new Jeep military spec. in case you missed it. I'm pretty sure it's only appropriate for very light duty tow and transport work (relative to military demands of course). This is purely a judgment call, so I can't really disagree if you just don't like the vehicle, but I really love the old and new Jeeps. They're direct, no-nonsense, maneuvarable and come with a truly serious 4wd system. Compared to the full sized pickups that I started out with, my friends' jeeps were always more capable and fun, allowing us to drive past the obvious mudpits and into the trees (no place for an F-250 believe me). The new Jeeps are huge compared to the old, but they still trump the new full sized trucks for usable performance by a huge margin. The pickup genre has devolved (imo, flame away) into a game of who can please the "precious snowflakes" (who should have bought cars in the first place) the best with overly delicate and luxurious interiors. They've also gotten so big I would never dare do anything off-road in one beyond cruising across an empty field. Pickups have become the American luxury car/tow vehicle at the expense of every other consideration, and we are all poorer for it. The Jeep Wrangler straightens that right out.

  • Analoggrotto As we Tesla owners receive our life energy from the greatest son of the gods of all time, Elon Musk; His cherubs and His nephilim may remove whatever they wish from us for unto him we owe all for our superiority above all the rest of humanity.
  • Kcflyer Nice to see California giving NY some competition to be the worst run state in the union.
  • Wolfwagen I see my comment was deleted (BTW nice way to censor) so i will say it again:GTFO here with the pseudo "wealth distribution" BS. A crime is a crime is a crime.Its a slippery slope, what happens next, Jail a rich guy when he kills a pedestrian and let the poor guy who kills a pedestrian walk? What about if the poor guy is a crappy driver and has the record to prove it then what?Or we could go crazy and just institute the death penalty across the board for every driving infraction. That will make people better drivers or stop driving altogether which will make the greenies happy (damm it I just gave them an idea - SOB!!!)
  • Wolfwagen No. Bring back the J80 with an inline six and reduced electronics (i.e. no giant touch screen) and they will probably sell like hotcakes
  • David S. " test vehicles sometimes make sudden stops when uncertain about how to navigate traffic."??? Test vehicles are programmed by humans, HUMANS sometimes make sudden stops when uncertain about how to navigate traffic, Duh!!