Chrysler Reports Best August Sales in Six Years; Ford Up 20%; GM Surges 22%


August proved to be a strong month for the Big Three automakers. Chrysler Group LLC, reported U.S. sales of 165,552 units, up 12 percent for the month, which represented a company best for the organization in recent years.

For General Motors, dealers delivered 275,847 vehicles last month, while Ford checked in with 221,270 sales. All three companies were bullish on the rest of the year, as well as into 2014. Last week, Ford announced that it was ramping up production of the Ford Fusion, in addition to the Mustang, at its plant in Flat Rock.

“Last month we achieved our strongest retail sales in the past 60 months,” says Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales. “All aspects of our business continue to improve as evidenced by our streak of 41-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.”

Each of the company’s brands — Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck, and Fiat — posted year-over-year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 29 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. It was the sixth consecutive month that the brand registered the largest percentage year-over-year sales gain.

“We had one of the best months in the last few years,” says Daniel Frost, president of Southfield Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Southfield, Telegraph Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Taylor, and Cadillac of Novi in Novi. “ The market is coming back, buyers are very excited about our products, and we’re seeing more import owners trading their vehicles in for Chryslers.

“The other thing is that Chrysler is calling back line workers, but they’ve been very consistent about maintaining an even production pace to ensure quality. In the past, they may have sped up the line to meet demand, but now there’s a total focus on delivering quality vehicles. We may lose some market share because of that, but I’ll take superior quality all day long.”

The automaker saw six models set sales records last month. The Dodge Challenger, Dodge Dart, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best sales period in August. The Dodge Journey mid-size crossover, with its 12 percent increase, had its best sales month ever.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 62-days supply of inventory, or 364,641 units.

U.S. industry sales figures for August are projected at an estimated 16.1 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual.