Chrysler Sales Drop 39%
Why, that news is so good that the Freep is happy to throw ChryCo the irony-free headline. April Fools! Sales are actually down 39 percent compared to March 2008. It’s just that Chrysler hasn’t topped 100k monthly sales since September. Does this look like a turnaround to anyone? Bueller? Jim Press? “The market is starting to show small signs of life which need to be nourished like seedlings.” What a touching image. Tiny seedlings struggling to life under a pile of government cash. Please, describe these plucky little plants for us, Mr. Press. “The fact that we exceeded 100,000 units for the first time since last fall is encouraging, and evidence that our improved quality, improved mileage as well as value represented in Employee Pricing Plus Plus are just what the doctor ordered for recession-wary customers who are reluctant to make long-term purchases. It’s too early to see a trend, but spring shows signs of hope.” If showing signs of hope is your job description, perhaps. But how did the federal proclamation ( PDF) of “the poor quality of [Chrysler’s] existing product portfolio” affect the sales seedlings?
The phrase “bloodbath” leaps to mind. By brand, Dodge fared the best with a dismal 33 percent drop in sales; Jeep fell 41 percent; and the dead-alive Chrysler brand shed 61 percent. Sebring jokes are taking their toll—the iconically worst car in America lost 78 percent of its sales compared to last March. The only Chrysler model with less than a 40 percent sales loss was the Town & Country, down 34 percent. Jeep’s Compass and Patriot were both down by over 70 percent, while the Wrangler proved its eternal appeal with a 16 percent increase. The only other ChryCo product with improved month-on-month sales was the Dodge Journey, which was up a statistically irrelevant 127 percent compared to last year’s supply-limited March performance. On the other end of the Dodge scale, the Durango was down 81 percent.
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