Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.
S. sales of 193,915 units, a 13 percent increase compared with sales in March 2013 (171,606 units), and the group's best March sales since 2007.
The Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in March compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand's 47 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during the month. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 48-consecutive months in March.
"We are entering the spring selling season on a high note as our Jeep and FIAT brands recorded their best sales months ever and Chrysler Group extended its streak in March to 48-consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases," said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. "Our Ram pickup truck posted its best March sales in 10 years."
Six Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in March. The Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, the Fiat 500L, and the Dodge Journey mid-size crossover each posted their best monthly sales ever. The Jeep Wrangler and Ram Cargo Van each recorded their best sales for the month of March. With its 27 percent increase, the Dodge Grand Caravan had the largest year-over-year percentage sales increase of any Chrysler Group models in March. The Ram pickup truck's 26 percent increase represented its best March sales in 10 years. The all-new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV weighed in with its second best sales month since arriving in dealerships in October.
Chrysler Group finished the month of March with a 71 days supply of inventory (525,927 units). U.S. industry sales figures for March are internally projected at an estimated 16.2 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).
March 2014 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand
Jeep brand sales were up 47 percent in March, the brand's best sales month ever as all five Jeep brand models posted sales gains. The brand's 47 percent increase also was the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in March. The Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot each recorded their best ever monthly sales, while the iconic Jeep Wrangler posted its best sales for the month of March. Sales of the all-new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV were up 17 percent compared with sales in February, its second-best monthly sales performance since arriving in dealerships in October.
Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 26 percent, its best March sales in nine years and the largest percentage sales increase of any Jeep brand model in March. The Grand Cherokee was named 2014 Winter Vehicle of New England by the New England Motor Press Association in March. The association cited the Grand Cherokee's EcoDiesel engine and its eight-speed transmission in selecting the flagship Jeep model for an unprecedented fourth consecutive win.
The Jeep brand unveiled the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, the brand's first entry in the small SUV segment, at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March. The Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.
Ram Truck Brand
Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 26 percent in March, the truck's best March sales performance in 10 years and its 47th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Ram Light Duty sales increased 24 percent in March, while Ram Heavy Duty pickups were up 28 percent. Shipments of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel truck began arriving at Ram Truck dealerships in March from the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan. Following the Environmental Protection Agency's best-in-class certification of 28 MPG, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 orders for the fuel efficient truck armed with 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity.
Ram Truck brand sales were up 29 percent in March, the brand's best sales in the month of March since 2007. Sales of the Ram ProMaster were up 85 percent in March, the full-size van's second best sales month since its launch in October. With its 19 percent increase, the Ram Cargo Van recorded its best March sales ever.
FIAT brand sales were up 24 percent in March, its best sales month since the brand returned to the U.S. market in 2011. It was the brand's fourth-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Fiat 500 had its best sales month so far this year in March, while sales of the Fiat 500L were up 78 percent compared with the previous month of February. It also was the 500L's best sales performance since launch in June. Sales of the Fiat 500e all-electric vehicle were up 95 percent compared with the previous month of February, while year-over-year sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio Abarth were up 160 percent in March.
The FIAT brand in March opened orders for the 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition, arriving in FIAT studios nationwide in late spring. Pricing for this well-equipped, limited-production model starts at $20,400 U.S. MSRP, which is just $1,900 more than a base Fiat 500 Lounge. The 1957 Edition includes a sport-tuned suspension for improved handling, 16-inch forged aluminum wheels with a retro body color design, throwback "FIAT" badging and a premium Marrone (brown) and Avorio (ivory) leather interior.
The Dodge Durango full-size SUV, Dodge Journey mid-size crossover, Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, and Dodge Charger each recorded year-over-year sales gains in March. Sales of the Journey were up 25 percent, the mid-size crossover's best sales month ever. Durango sales were up 22 percent in March compared with the same month a year ago, extending its run of year-over-year sales gains to 17-consecutive months. It was the Durango's best March sales since 2005. Grand Caravan sales were up 27 percent in March, the largest year-over-year percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group vehicle in March. With its 15 percent increase, the Dodge Charger had its best March sales since 2007. Dodge brand sales were up 1 percent in March compared with the same month a year ago, the brand's best March sales since 2007.
The Journey, America's most versatile mid-size crossover with available seven-passenger seating, is upping its capability and value quotient by offering the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine and all-wheel drive (AWD) on SE models for 2014, with a U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,895 (excluding $995 destination). The Dodge Journey SE V-6 AWD makes all-wheel drive more accessible within the Journey lineup by $1,800 compared to the SXT model.
The Dodge Dart sedan in March was named a "Best Bet" in the compact car category of this year's edition of The Car Book. It was the Dart's second-consecutive year as a "Best Bet." The recognition is based on an analysis of wide-ranging information collected from government and independent sources. The analysis is conducted by The Car Book and the Center for Auto Safety and considers crash test results, safety features, rollover rating, preventative maintenance schedules, repair costs, warranty coverage, fuel economy, complaint data and insurance costs.
Sales of the award-winning Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 14 percent in March, compared with the same month a year ago. It was the minivan's best March sales since 2008. Chrysler brand sales were down 23 percent in March, reflecting the end of production of the 2014 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and convertible. The Chrysler 300 flagship sedan had its best sales month so far this year.
Production of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan began in March and is expected to go on sale in this second quarter. The new 200 sedan leapfrogs expectations in the mid-size sedan segment for comfort, ride and handling. Engineered to provide premium driving dynamics, highway fuel economy of up to 36 mpg highway, a quiet cabin and an enthusiastic driving experience, the new 200 delivers exceptional ride and handling characteristics for all roads and weather conditions.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 with the standard 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir®2 I-4 engine is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 23 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, a five mile per gallon improvement in the highway rating versus the outgoing model.