AUBURN HILLS — Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 142,041 units, a 12 percent increase compared with sales in September 2011 (127,336 units), and the group’s best September sales since 2007.
The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in September compared with the same month a year ago. The FIAT brand’s 51 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. September marked Chrysler Group’s 30th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
“Last month marked our 30th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest September in five years,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “Going forward with our current product line up, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it.”
As the production ramp up of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan continues in the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant, Dart sales of 5,235 units were up a significant 72 percent in September compared with the previous month.
While the Dodge Dart continued its steady monthly sales climb, six Chrysler Group models set sales records in September. The Chrysler 200 and sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans each set records for the month of September. The Avenger achieved its record with a sizeable 89 percent sales increase compared with the same month a year ago.
Two Jeep models – the Wrangler and Patriot – set September sales records, while a 51 percent increase earned the Fiat 500 an all-time sales record. In addition, the Dodge Journey set a sales record for the month of September demonstrating why it is the most versatile and affordable crossover in America. Sales of the Journey were up 41 percent in September compared with the same month last year.
Other standout models in September were the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee with sales up 19 percent, and the Dodge Grand Caravan with a sales gain of 32 percent.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 65-days supply of inventory (369,144 units). U.S. industry sales figures for September are projected at an estimated 14.9 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).
September 2012 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand
FIAT brand sales were up 51 percent in September, the largest year-over-year percentage increase of any Chrysler Group brand. The Fiat 500 set an all-time sales record in September. Sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio were up 44 percent versus the same month last year, while the Fiat 500 recorded a 52 percent year-over-year sales gain. The Fiat 500 Turbo, the fourth model in the FIAT brand lineup, should begin hitting dealership showrooms this month touting a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior.
Dodge brand sales were up 18 percent in September, the brand’s best September in five years and second best sales month this year. Dodge brand sales of 47,356 units represented the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in September.
Two Dodge brand models set sales records during the month. The Dodge Journey full-size crossover, with its 41 percent sales gain, established a sales record for the month of September and was one of Road & Travel Magazine’s top picks in the competitive crossover/SUV segment. The magazine named Journey one of its Top 10 vehicles in its 2012 SUV Buyer’s Guide.
The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan set a sales record for the month of September with its considerable 89 percent sales gain, the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model. Sales of the Dodge Dart were up 72 percent in September, compared with the previous month of August, as the all-new compact sedan continues its steady monthly sales climb. The brand’s minivan offering, the Dodge Grand Caravan, turned in a solid 32 percent sales gain in September.
Jeep brand sales increased 10 percent, the brand’s best September sales in six years and its 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Two Jeep models had record-setting sales in September. The Jeep Patriot, the best-priced compact SUV in America, logged a 42 percent increase, the largest sales gain of any of the Jeep models and a sales record for the month of September. The iconic Jeep Wrangler also set a sales record for the month of September with its 6 percent sales gain.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s flagship SUV, recorded a 19 percent sales gain and was the brand’s volume leader for the month. It was the Grand Cherokee’s best September in seven years. The Jeep brand announced in September that it is introducing this month the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and Wrangler Moab editions, both of which feature off-road equipment never before offered on a production Jeep vehicle.
Chrysler brand sales were up 5 percent, the brand’s best September sales in five years and its 15th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan contributed to the brand’s sales gain by setting a sales record for the month of September. Sales of the 200 were up 13 percent in September versus the same month last year. The Chrysler 200 has set a sales record every month this year, including an all-time sales record in March. Sales of the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan were up 7 percent, the full-size sedan’s best September in five years and 11th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Chrysler brand in September introduced the limited-production Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and the 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition. Working hand-in-hand, John Varvatos’ signature fashion style combined with Chrysler designers styling expertise forged two 300 sedan models that embody the soul of “Imported from Detroit.”
Ram Truck Brand
The Ram pickup truck extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 29-consecutive months. Sales of the Ram pickup truck, Chrysler Group’s volume leader, were up 6 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago. It was the pickup truck’s best September sales performance since 2007. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 223 percent sales increase compared with the same month a year ago.
The Ram Truck brand unveiled the new 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab work trucks at the Texas State Fair in September. The Ram Truck brand now offers the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the segment – the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty line features best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks also add new features, including an all-new interior, next-generation Uconnect Access, Powernet, new frames and new suspension. The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty further solidifies the long list of leadership claims, including best-in-class total cost of ownership.
The 2013 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab truck is the pinnacle of capability. Engineered and designed for extreme daily work, the Ram Chassis Cabs are products of a demanding environment and direct customer input. Ram’s halo truck line focuses on best-in-class capability and best-in-class total cost of ownership, a leading concern among business owners.