Chrysler has been riding an upward wave in its sales – October 2011 marks the 19th-consecutive month of sales gains compared to the year prior. A total number of 114,512 vehicles were sold between the Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram brands last month, 27 percent more than the same month in 2010; so far this year, Chrysler’s five brands have moved 1,123,923 units.
Chrysler – 21,244 vehicles; up 28 percent
Chrysler’s sales were up by almost a third in October, lead by strong sales of the 200 sedan. Moving 11,205 cars, the 200 sold more than the 300 and the Town & Country combined. Compared with its Sebring predecessor, the 200’s sales are up by a whopping 405 percent from October of last year. It was also the only of Chrysler’s three models to see an increase in sales last month; thanks in part to the Super Bowl commercial from earlier this year that prominently featured the heavily revised sedan.
While the 200 may have been the best-seller last month, the Town & Country takes Chrysler’s sales crown so far this year: sales may be down 18 percent year-over-year, but the 78,255 new copies of the minivan have hit the roads so far this year. As far as October is concerned, the T&C and 300 are running neck-and-neck in percentage losses – the van is down 27 percent to 6338 units, while the 300 sedan is down 29 percent to 3701 cars sold.
Dodge – 33,734 vehicles; up 25 percent
At Dodge, it’s a similar story to Chrysler: the brand’s midsize Avenger sedan played the leading role in the October 2011 sales story, if only just. Avenger sales were up a whopping 145 percent from the same month last year from just under 300 cars to 7136 sold last month. Besides the Durango and the Journey, the Avenger was the only Dodge vehicle to see a sales increase last month. Due to an introduction late in the year, the Durango only moved 58 units last October, hence the 6562-percent gain to the 3864 units sold last month.The biggest loser was the Caliber – which is nearing the end of its production run – moving just 1840 copies of the compact hatchback, compared to 2777 from October 2010 – a decrease of 34 percent.
Taking the number two sales spot at Dodge was the Grand Caravan, moving 7100 copies (just 36 less than the Avenger), but down 13 percent compared with the same time last year. The Journey rounded out the top three spots, up 36 percent year-over-year with 5028 copies of the crossover sold. Making almost no movement from last October were the Charger, Challenger, and Nitro: they were each down 10, three, and five percent, respectively to 3626, 3097, and 2031 vehicles for each respectively.
The actual biggest loser was the Viper, which went out of production last year.Salesslid 68 percent to 12 units, although it’s a bit surprising to see new-old-stock 2010 models continue to move off dealer lots.
Fiat – 1965 vehicles
Fiat continues to chug along with the 500 supermini. So far this year a total of 15,826 500 hatchbacks and convertibles have been sold, with 1965 of them in October of 2011. Fiat’s distribution network has been hampered this year by a slow roll-out of the new Fiat Studios (dealerships) and some initial stumbling with its marketing effort. Next year, Fiat should see a jump in sales thanks to the addition of two new models: the hotter 500 Abarth and the eco-chic 500 Electirc.
Jeep – 35,733 vehicles; up 25 percent
Jeep has been strong selling in recent months – October marks the 18th-consecutive sales gain for the brand and was the best October since 2006. Leading the charge are the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler SUVs. The Grand Cherokee may have outsold the Wrangler with 11,084 copies sold to 9892 last month, but the ragtop SUV’s sales were a gain of 25 percent versus the Grand Cherokee’s loss of 13 percent compared to October last year. Both are up year-over-year for the first 10 months of 2011 – the Grand Cherokee up 59 percent to 99,853 and the Wrangler taking the Jeep-brand sales crown so far this year up 28 percent from 2010 to 101,820 sold through October 2011. No surprise there, given that Jeep is worried about being able to keep up with demand for the legendary off-roader.
The biggest gainer last month, however, was the compact Compass that saw a 566-percent leap from October 2010. Granted, last October only 778 models were sold compared to 5179 last month. The Liberty doubled its sales numbers from last year to 5997, a 51-percent increase from the same month last year. Modes 25-percent gains were seen by the Patriot to 3581 units, and as of this month there are officially no more of the discontinued Commander being moved off of dealership lots.
Ram – 21,836 vehicles; up 21 percent
Since splintering off from Dodge, the Ram brand has managed to hold its own. The Ram pickup line has continued with strong sales moving 21,037 trucks last month, 21 percent more than October of 2010. Despite having been axed at the end of this summer, the Dakota midsize pickup sold 642 copies, down just 17 percent from last year. And just introduced earlier this year, the Cargo Van more than doubled its total annual sales so far with the 157 copies sold last month.