AUBURN HILLS — Chrysler Group LLC reported U.S. sales of 171,606 units, a 5 percent increase compared with sales in March 2012 (163,381 units), and the group’s best monthly sales since December 2007.
The Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in March compared with the same month last year. The Ram Truck brand’s 24 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in March.
Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 36-consecutive months in March. This sales milestone tops a previous sales streak of 35-consecutive months that occurred from February 1992 through December 1994.
Despite the extension of the sales streak, shipment volumes and sales in the first quarter of 2013 were negatively affected by the end of Jeep Liberty production in Q3 2012 and the 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 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.
“With our 5 percent sales increase in March, Chrysler Group has now achieved year-over-year sales gains in every month for the past three years,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Furthermore, in spite of limited inventory last month on some of our most popular models, we also managed to record our strongest monthly sales since December 2007.”
Five Chrysler Group vehicles set all-time sales records in March. Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 25 percent in March, its best sales ever. Both the Light-Duty Ram and Heavy-Duty Ram pickups were substantially refreshed for the 2013 model year. The Ram 1500 is Motor Trend’s 2013 Truck of the Year.
In addition to the Ram, three Dodge models recorded their best sales ever in March. The all-new Dodge Dart compact car set an all-time sales record with its 5 percent month-over-month sales gain. Dart sales have increased in every month but one since the all-new model was launched in June last year. In addition, the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and the Dodge Challenger muscle car each set all-time sales records in March. The Challenger recorded its best sales ever with a substantial 42 percent sales gain. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan also recorded an all-time sales record with its 11 percent sales gain.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (419,084 units). U.S. industry sales figures for March are projected at an estimated 15.6 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate.