Chrysler Group sales chief Reid Bigland has called it the “ironman” streak — 34 straight months of sales gains.
But despite last month’s cautious words from Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne during a 2012 earnings call, the company’s February U.S. sales remained strong and increased over 2012 February sales, pushing the streak to 35. The final tally for the month was 139,015 cars, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles sold, for a 4% increase.
The Dodge brand proved its mettle in the face of those obstacles to be the driving force for continuing the sales streak as nearly every vehicle had an increase of at least 21%, and four cars set February records:
- Dodge Avenger: +52% to 9,980, for a record
- Dodge Charger: +41% to 10,301 & #4 in the company in volume
- Dodge Durango: +38% to 4,749
- Dodge Challenger: +34% to 4,911, for a record
- Dodge Journey: +21% to 7,530, for a record
- Dodge Grand Caravan: -18% to 10,415 & #3 in the company in volume
The newest member of the Dodge family – the Dodge Dart – had its best sales month since its June introduction, with 7,720 sold for a +8% over January.
Jeep® brand, not surprisingly, was down in February. It was affected by the completion of Jeep Liberty production late last year, and the current product launches for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Compass. Total sales were off 16% to 31,164.
Despite the drop in Liberty and Grand Cherokee sales, there were some solid gains from the Jeep Compass (3,776 +36%), Jeep Patriot (6,329 +24%) and the Jeep Wrangler (10,091 +8%), which set a February sales record.
Ram Truck and FIAT brands each were up 2% in sales, while the Chrysler brand was down 7%. The main bright spot for Chrysler was the Chrysler 200 which was our #2 selling vehicle at 11,446 sold, for +18%, and another February sales record.
2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport, photographed during a recent winter ride and drive program, near Houghton, Mich.