By on April 1, 2011

Doesn’t anybody read the Detroit News? I can think of 6,750 people who don’t. They are the people, rental agencies, or hopeless confused aliens trying, albeit incompetently, to fit into human society who took home a new Chrysler 200 in March. This kind of volume won’t worry Toyota, but a full year of this volume would pay back the likely development costs for the car and then some.

This 200-centric news is part of a pretty solid month for Chrysler overall. The platform mate Avenger rang the register for 5,954 units, while the brand as a whole sold over 121,000 cars and trucks. The full press release is here, but no matter how you look at it, this is good news for the Mopar crew. Let’s see what a few months of restricted Accord and Camry production does for them…

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49 Comments on “6,750 Eminem Fans Can’t Be Wrong: Chrysler Is Up 31 Percent...”


  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Excellent news indeed! Well done Sergio…

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    Funny, look at the Fiat 500, they sold exactly 500. :-D

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      I’ve been trying to get into a 500 for a test drive, but they can’t keep them on the lots around here (and we have two Fiat/Chrysler dealerships for the relatively small community near where I live here in Canada).

  • avatar
    th009

    @Jack, “The platform mate Avenger rang the register for 5,954 units, while the brand as a whole sold over 121,000 cars and trucks …”

    The COMPANY as a whole sold 121K units.  The Chrysler BRAND as a whole sold 20,463, up a whopping 4% over 2010.  Looks like those new 200s and 300s are just flying off the dealer lots …
     
    Dodge is doing well, but the Chrysler brand doesn’t look like it has much life in it in spite of the facelifted models.  50% of the brand sales are still Town & Country, and the new 300 is down 28%.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I think we’re both wrong! I think it should be that the GROUP sold that many. I don’t know why I typed “brand”. Black tar heroin, probably.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Chrysler: Go, go, go!

    I can’t wait for the reliability results a year from now, or sooner at TrueDelta, and I hope the news is good, whether haters like the cars or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      And if they stay reliable and resale stays low… can you say budget used performance sedan?  (You know with the Phoenix V6 and maybe some Avenger suspension upgrades.  Make that snot nosed kid in the Honda do a double take when you blow past him.)

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Don’t give me any ideas, but I like how you think!

  • avatar
    Alex Rodriguez

    Exactly what I predicted last month around this time when TTAC asked why the SuperBowl Ad only translated into 2200 sales of the 200.  It was because the 200 was barely trickling into dealers in February.  Now its March and sales tripled to 6750. 

    Same thing with the 300.  This will be the month we see the numbers take off as they start to fully arrive.  Don’t believe me?  Look at Charger numbers.  Charger is about 1 month ahead of the 300, and it shot through the roof in March to 9000+

    Another TTAC statement was that Chrysler had to reach the 100,000 number every month to stay afloat.  Well, consider that number as officially blown through.  121,000, the best number Chrysler has posted in 2+ years.  Every model that is still in production showed an increase last month save for the 300 (already explained) and the Town & Country, which also went through a refresh and is slowly arriving on lots.  Although I think Chrysler will take 20,000 minivan sales this month, thank you very much.

    Way to go Chrysler!  Things looking way up.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      If the economy improves, if there are no big gasoline price increases, if interest rates stay in the cellar, I could see Mopar sales taking off. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of ifs. FWIW, everybody else has the same issue, too.

      If my wife is any indication of how non-car people seem to think about cars, the Charger is a winner. I have yet to see a 200 or 300 or a 500, if they have made the same transformation, I think they will do well.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Geo, two out of three ain’t bad, Gas prices have already risen, a lot, and the economy continues to improve, although it will be a long time before we get back to the good old days of economic growth under George Bush. And yet Chrysler’s sales continue to improve.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Windswords: I would agree with most of what you said to me. I’d rather ride the late 1990’s economy again than the one in the 2000’s, but we seem to lurch from bubble to bubble, right? It’s always that one event the hoses the whole party for everyone.
       
      I’m hoping for good sales numbers for all of the mfrs. In my part of Michigan, when all of the car companies do well, we all do well. I need a good reason to have a party.

    • 0 avatar
      view2share

      Problem with the Chrysler 200 sales is that it is a worked – over Sebring and not a new car.  Too expensive for what you get.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I had a poke around a 200 on the forecourt of a Chrysler dealership the other day. And despite what some of the ‘reviews’ have said, I believe it’s a damn fine looking car. It looks a hell of a lot more stylish than Camry or Accord. I’m still having a hard time trying to work out how something as ungainly and malformed as the Sebring could evolve into the 200, but then again just look at Steve Tyler and Liv Tyler.

  • avatar

    Sorry, to intrude on the love-fest, but on an un-weighted basis, Chrysler is still coming up well short of its sales goal this year (as outlined in the 5-year plan). In Q1, Chrysler has sold 286,950 units. Extrapolate that (again, on a not-adjusted-for-seasonality basis) and Chrysler’s full-year sales would be 1,147,800 units. Chrysler’s total volume goal this year is 1.5m units, 1.2m of which need to be retail sales. In short, based on the first quarter’s performance, Chrysler’s overall volume won’t even equal its retail sales goal.
    But yeah, let’s get the party started anyway…

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      I’m fine with your analysis of numbers. You can draw any conclusion you want. But along with that you have to write: “…or hopeless confused aliens trying, albeit incompetently, to fit into human society…” Do you have to slam people you don’t even know for their vehicle choice? Especially when 10 times that amount take their hard earned money and buy a Camry (shudder)?

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      You assume that future sales will drop down to the average of Q1.
      I could extrapolate in another way: 286,950 + (9 * 121,730) = 1,382,520
      Still under target, but better.  And that’s assuming that monthly sales do not change.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you have to slam people you don’t even know for their vehicle choice?

      No, I pay Jack to do it for me.

      cmoibenlepro: Good point. I have no crystal ball, just trying to sober up the fanbois a little. Yes, Chrysler is doing better… but they’ve set a huge hurdle for themselves this year. Meanwhile, stand by for an incentives report that will be yet another splash of cold water…

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Ed, thanks for crunching the numbers.  But I don’t think they tell the whole story:
      1.  Chrysler has some promising new product that was only partially available in Q1
      2.  Decreased Japanese production will leave a hole in the market that Chrysler should get a piece of.  Assuming that problems with Japanese suppliers don’t cripple Chrysler’s production, of course.
       
      So at the risk of being labelled a fanboi, I’d say they have a reasonably good shot at hitting their goal, although they do have a bit of ground to cover.    The real question is what does that 1.5 million figure mean?  Is that the number Chrysler needs to hit to break even, or is that an audacious goal goal they set to push the company to reap huge profits?

  • avatar

    I suspect some of the comments are Apri Foolery.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Doesn’t anybody read the Detroit News?
     
    They certainly shouldn’t…not with that hack auto reviewer back…

  • avatar
    mjz

    If you actually take a look at the new 200 (Sebring) in person, it’s really quite an impressive refresh considering the time/money constaints. The new front and rear ends are beautifully sculpted, with a lot of nice detailing. The interior is head and shoulders above the craplastic interior of the Camry. At about $21,500 (Touring), the price of a well equipped Fiesta (!), it really offers a lot of value for the money. Add the optional Pentastar V-6, for $1,800 and it makes a compelling option to some of the blandtastic midsize competition.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Regarding the 1st quarter being under sales target, many of Chryler’s 16 extensively refreshed models were just starting to hit the dealer lots in March. If the March sales results are any indication, then things bode well, as the new models seem to be getting an enthusiastic reception.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I too recall TTAC editors saying Chrysler needed (but would not get) 100,000 consistent sales a month. Seems they have. Now the goal posts shift – yes they are not meeting their own stretch goals. Doesn`t mean they are any less viable. The main thing is to make a profit.
    I personally thought they wouldn`t make it, and they may not but they have done much better than the vast majority of people expected. Well done.
    I am surprised by the Charger numbers – great growth when Taurus sales fell (and Ford has the golden touch!)
     
    Windsword – the economy was not that great under Bush – a housing bubble and two recessions (2001 and 2008). Ah credit was a wonderful thing!

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      I’m not talking about the last 2 years after the Dems took over Congress, that’s all most peoples selective memories can recall. I mean the real good old days.
      Facts:
      Lower unemployment than under Clinton (lower than the average unemployment rate for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s)
      Lower interest rates than under Clinton
      Record stock market highs (will we ever see them again?)
      Lower deficit (by a factor of 3 or 4) than under Obama.
      Higher total employment.
      Productivity growth for 2000-2005 was 3.4%, the highest of ANY five year period in FIFTY years.
      Jobs to apply for that were not from a government agency
      Illegals trying to get into the US instead of leaving to go back to their country.
      The economy was doing great. Yes, there was a housing bubble. There was a tech bubble during Clinton’s term that popped and a small recession in his last year. Do people label the whole 8 years of Clinton as a “bad economy”?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Wow Windstorms – way to jump of a cliff. I don`t want this to turn into a politics blog but your assertions need to be countered by facts. So you selectively take a 5 year period out of a 8 year presidency. Including the year 2000 which had a Democratic President.
      The stock market did great 2003-2007 but even better 1993 to 1999 – so I would take the Clinton years. Also this link : http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate.jsp?fromYear=1990&toYear=2009
      clearly shows that unemployment during the entire Clinton presidency was lower on average than under Bush (even if you cherry pick just 5 years).
      Clinton ran a surplus for 2 years. Bush ran large deficits (the wars were off-balance sheet). Yes they are smaller than under Obama but then we didn`t have the financial crisis and loss of tax revenue and extra welfare spending (damn poor people!) on that scale under Bush (or Clinton, or Bush Jr, Bush Sr or Carter)

      You say lower interest rates as if that was a good thing. I think the housing market may disagree with you. Also building an economy on cheap credit at the expense of manufacturing etc is not sustainable. As we have seen.

      Also we are what maybe just 15% away from matching the previous stock market highs so I am pretty sure we will see them again. Wall Street can easily gain that in just 6-12 months.At least under Obama there have been no successful terrorist attacks!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I always have an issue with “sales budgets” set by a company, and if they don’t make them, they are losing money. If the “goal” is set unreasonably high, who’s wrong? Management responsible for unrealistic expectations. I hear this stuff all the time, but I’m just a dumb designer, what do I know?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      “Eliminate numerical quotas, including management by objectives.” – W. Edwards Deming (Advocate of a systematic approach to business.)

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Dan, you’ve done it again. I remember who Mr. Deming was now. I believe you referred to #11b of his 14 points. I think a couple of his points may be somewhat outdated – especially his advocacy of single suppliers – think Japan’s tragedy, but that is extreme.

      You’re a true teacher and educator!

  • avatar
    Hank

    I saw the 200 at the auto show a couple weeks ago.  I was impressed by the improvements they made. Honestly, the interior blew Toyotas at the show completely away.  I’m glad to see they’re on the up-swing.
    If the numbers of Chargers I’ve seen on transports headed down the NY Thruway this week is any indication, the redesign is going over well.
    Re: Taurus – That seems to be one very under-appreciated car.  Every time I’m in one, I wonder why more aren’t flooding the roads.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Taurus – That seems to be one very under-appreciated car.  Every time I’m in one, I wonder why more aren’t flooding the roads.”

      @Hank:   That’s because they’re called “Taurus”, which is what what the Fusion should have been named, as they are similar in size. The new “Taurus” should have been called “Galaxie 500”. If it were, they’d be in Impala sales territory. I really like them, too.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    I’m sorry, but Chrysler’s story right now (all this excitement over a new name and fairly mild refresh for a volume-model sedan, a new small car that’s supposed to save the company coming from a European partner with a history of questionable build quality, sales numbers that barely keep the company viable, a generally mediocre car line and a truck line with a dedicated fan base) just feels like the last ten years of AMC to me. I really don’t see how it will end any differently either. I’ll be amazed if the Big Three isn’t the Big Two, with Jeep in yet another owner’s hands and Fiat out of the American market, before the decade’s out.
    At least Chrysler hasn’t discontinued the Ambassador (er, 300) yet…..

  • avatar
    mjz

    Hank: Agreed, the new 200 interior (and exterior) is such an improvment it makes the Camry look like IT has an old Chrysler plastastic interior in it! Quite the leap forward. Can’t wait until the “real” 200 comes out in a couple of years. If they can make that sow’s ear (Sebring) into a silk purse in less than a year’s time, the next 200 should be a knock-out.

    I think the Charger/300 will blow the Taurus out of the water. Even the base Charger S/E which starts about $25,000 looks like a decent ride. Ditto base 300 for $27,000. Most Tauruses are SEL or Limited trim and sticker well into the $30,000’s. You NEVER see the base SE Taurus on the lot anywhere.

  • avatar
    Mr. Spacely

    Yeah, I almost feel like we need a backlash-to-the-backlash regarding the 200. I test drove a V6 Limited last week and it was good.  Not great, but good.  More impressive, though, was the interior, which I find to be class-leading.
    Downsides: Size (cramped), roofline (ugly), durability (unknown). At the very, very least, though, it looks really sweet from the front and the back, especially when compared to Toyotas and the quickly aging Fusion.
    I’d love to see ChryCo release that MOPAR Super S concept with a new tranny. Now *that* would be an interesting family sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      How bout an Avenger with the new V6 and 6 speed manual, that would get my attention.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Some of the Pontiac G6 GXPs came with the 3.6 V6 and a six speed manual. Since Dodge is rapidly taking Pontiac’s place, why not a Pentastar powered Avenger with a nice six speed manual, too?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Pssssssss… really rare was a few G6s built with a 3.9V6 and a six-speed manual.  I’ve seen one in the wild. 

    • 0 avatar
      ptschett

      Allpar had two different backlashes last week.
      I was at the Twin Cities Auto Show a few weeks ago, and if I was judging just on the interior I’d pick the 200 or Avenger over most of their competition, and I’d test-drive the Koreans before I bothered with an Accord or Camry.

  • avatar
    eldard

    Yay! Viva Italia!

    And Libya, I guess…

  • avatar
    Acd

    Jack,

    Did you notice that Mr. Journalistic Integrity’s first review since returning to Print Journalism and after realizing what a sweet gig he had and that there were plenty of people giving good car reviews without union wages & benefits was the 2011 Dodge Journey, cousin to the Chrysler 200 that gave him so much trouble a few weeks ago?  This time he actually liked the Journey.  Go figure.

    The Wobble lives!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The sickening thing is just how many people want to be lied to. If only there had never been honest journalists. We could all still be blissfully buying new Oldmobiles and Pontiacs every two years to replace the rusted out and used up ones broken down in our driveways with such low trade in values that they aren’t worth having towed. UAW! UAW!

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      The UAW never had any control over RUST. It didn’t then and doesn’t now. Management decides if vehicles will have rust protection.

      By the way, UAW built Ford vehicles are doing pretty good these days, why? Good Management.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’d have a hard time liking the Journey more than the 200, but what do I know? Not much.

  • avatar
    Subifreak

    Ah, Chrysler is living the dream!!!  And what a useless statistic to boot….

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