AUBURN HILLS — Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 139,015 units, a 4 percent increase compared with sales in February 2012 (133,521 units), and the group’s best February sales since 2008.
The Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in February compared with the same month last year. The Dodge brand’s 30 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in February.
While Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains in February to 35-consecutive months, sales and shipment volumes for the first quarter of 2013 are being negatively affected by the end of Jeep Liberty production in Q3 2012 and the on-going product launches during the quarter of the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Compass, and the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty truck line. As the Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC, Sergio Marchionne, pointed out in the 2012 Q4 and full-year earnings call at the end of January, due to the aforementioned vehicle launches, Chrysler Group’s first-quarter volumes are expected to be lower than the volumes reached during the same quarter in 2012.
“In spite of a cautious ramp up of some of our most popular products which limited inventory last month, we still managed to record our strongest February sales in five years and our 35th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Looking ahead, we expect to get our inventory gaps corrected over the next 90 days resulting in additional products contributing to our growth.”
February was a record-setting month for eight Chrysler Group vehicles. The all-new Dodge Dart compact car continued to build momentum setting an all-time sales record in February with its 8 percent month-over-month sales gain. In addition to the Dart, the Dodge Challenger muscle car set an all-time sales record with its 34 percent sales gain. Two additional Dodge brand models set records as well. The Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Journey full-size crossover each set a sales record for the month of February.
Two Jeep brand vehicles had record-setting February sales. The Jeep Patriot compact SUV and the iconic Jeep Wrangler each set sales records for month of February, as did the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and Fiat 500.
Ram pickup truck sales increased 3 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. The pickup truck was Chrysler Group’s top-selling vehicle by volume in February followed by the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 71-days supply of inventory (413,989 units). U.S. industry sales figures for February are projected at an estimated 15.5 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR