Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.
S. sales of 148,472 units, a 14 percent increase compared with sales in August 2011 (130,120 units), and the group's best August sales since 2007.
The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, and FIAT brands each recorded year-over-year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The FIAT brand's 34 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. August marked Chrysler Group's 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
The Dodge brand produced three record-setting models while registering the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. The Dodge Journey full-size crossover, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record while the sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set a sales record for the month of August.
The FIAT, Chrysler and Jeep brands also produced record-setting models in August. The Fiat 500 set an all-time sales record with its 34 percent sales gain while the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and the Jeep Wrangler established sales records for the month of August.
"Our Iron Man streak continued last month as we posted our 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. "Our hard work over the past few years is starting to pay some dividends in our sales growth, quality awards and profitability. Not to mention, an incredibly resilient U.S. new vehicle sales industry doesn't hurt either."
Chrysler Group's 14 percent increase in August was driven in part by sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan (3,045 units). Dart sales were up 294 percent in August compared with the previous month of July, as the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant continues to ramp up Dart production.
The Chrysler 300 flagship sedan, with its substantial 65 percent increase, contributed to Chrysler Group's August increase, as did the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, each posting double-digit percentage gains for the month. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a 13 percent hike, had its best August in six years while the Ram pickup truck extended its lengthy streak of consecutive year-over-year sales gains with a 19 percent increase in August.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (362,407 units). U.S. industry sales figures for August are projected at an estimated 14.6 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).
August 2012 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand
FIAT brand sales, up 34 percent compared with the same month a year ago, were an all-time sales record in August. Sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio were up 37 percent versus the same month last year, while the Fiat 500 Abarth, the ultimate high-performance small car, recorded a 22 percent increase compared with sales during the previous month of July. The Fiat 500 was one of three Chrysler Group models to rank highest in their segment in Strategic Vision's 2012 Total Quality Index in August. The Fiat 500 was ranked first in the Small Car segment.
The FIAT Brand introduced the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo in August, the fourth model in the expanding FIAT brand product lineup and one of the most affordable turbo-charged vehicles in America. The Fiat 500 Turbo features a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior. The new Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call for enthusiasts who are drawn to the Italian style of the Fiat 500 but want more power and performance for their daily drive.
Chrysler brand sales were up 25 percent, the brand's best August sales in five years and its 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan were up 65 percent, the full-size sedan's best August sales in five years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan contributed to the brand's sales gain by setting a sales record for the month of August. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which offers families versatility, luxury, and convenience at a value, logged a double-digit sales increase, its best August sales in six years and second best sales month this year.
Ram Truck Brand
The Ram pickup truck extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 28-consecutive months in August. Sales of the Ram pickup truck, Chrysler Group's volume leader, were up 19 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. It was the pickup truck's best August sales performance since 2007. Of the Ram 1500 sales, the regular cab pickups posted the largest percentage sales increase in August, while the crew cab trucks led in volume. The Ram Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab pickup trucks posted year-over-year sales increases in August. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 53 percent sales increase compared with the previous month of July.
The Ram Truck brand, which recorded its best August sales in four years, introduced its new 2013 Ram 1500 to the automotive media in August underscoring the model's best-in-class fuel economy, state-of-the-art technology, and class-exclusive features. Production of the Ram begins this month and is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in October.
Dodge brand sales increased 13 percent, the brand's best August sales since 2005 and its second best sales month this year. Dodge brand sales of 47,348 units represented the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. Sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan soared 294 percent in its third month of sales. As Dart production continues to ramp up in the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant, a full, multifaceted marketing campaign will launch this month, following the 90-second "How to Change Cars Forever" commercial that debuted in July.
As sales of the new Dart heat up, three Dodge models set sales records in August. The Dodge Journey, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record with its hefty 58 percent increase in August. The sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set sales records for month of August. Not to be outdone by the passenger cars, the Dodge Grand Caravan had its best August in seven years. In fact, the Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans each logged double-digit sales increases in August.
The Dodge Charger took home a Strategic Vision 2012 Total Quality Award in the Large Car segment, complementing its 30 percent sales increase in August, while the Dodge brand was cited as the most improved brand in the industry.
Jeep brand sales were up 5 percent, the brand's best August sales in nine years and its 28th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Wrangler, the brand's volume leader in August, set a sales record for the month of August. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV ever, were up 13 percent, its best August sales in six years. Sales of the Jeep Liberty were up 15 percent in August compared with the same month last year. It was the Liberty's best August since 2006.
The Grand Cherokee won a Total Quality Award in the Medium SUV segment from Strategic Vision in August. Strategic Vision's Total Quality Index reflects all aspects of buying, owning and driving a vehicle as a holistic measure, and encompasses positive and negative experiences including reliability, driving excitement, emotional attachment and overall sales and service satisfaction.