Chrysler Group and its brands ended 2011 on a high note -- with December seeing our best sales volume of the year: 138,019 vehicles sold, for the 21st straight month of sales growth.

For all of 2011, Chrysler sales were up 26% from 2010, at 1,369,114.

But why?

Why was 2011 such a good year? Well, we may not have all the answers but think a Top 10 list might be a good place to start.

10) CEO Sergio Marchionne's consistent fashion sense, which gets far more media attention than it should, provides a subtle sense of corporate stability.

9) Dodge Durango: Back after a two-year hiatus checking out Europe, working out and hitting the books, it was welcomed back with open arms. Its 51,697 SUVs sold was the driving force in Dodge brand's 18% growth in 2011. Durango is made at our Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.

8) Jeep® Grand Cherokee: In its first full calendar year as a redesign (the 2011-model year version was introduced in May 2010), the most-awarded SUV ever was our #2 seller for 2011 (127,744 sold, up 51%), with December being its best month of the year with 17,346 sold, a 36% jump over 12/2010. Like the Durango, the Grand Cherokee is made at JNAP.


7) SRT Brand -- where high-performance meets high-luxury. After a relatively quiet few years, SRT was reborn as a stand-alone brand in the summer. With VP of Design Ralph Gilles appointed to lead SRT as president, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 was joined by Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Grand Cherokee SRT8. The SRT family will grow again with the 2013 SRT Viper later this year.

6) Jeep Wrangler: When you think Jeep, you usually picture a Wrangler. Sales of the Toledo, Ohio-made icon surged during the last half of 2011 to the point Wrangler challenged Grand Cherokee for the Jeep lead. After another strong month in December (11,415 in sales, up 39%), Wrangler finished the year with 122,460 sold. Good for a 30% increase from 2010.

5) Ram Pickup: Durable, reliable, hard-working workhorse of the company, Ram pickup trucks are consistently our #1 selling vehicle. In December, Ram pickup had its best month since March 2008 with 26,013 sold; up 12% from 12/2010. For the year, sales were up 23% to 244,763 trucks sold -- making it the #7 selling vehicle for the year.

4) Chrysler 200 / Born of Fire: What a way to start a year!! The two-minute TV spot that debuted in February helped spark a renewed self-confidence in Detroit, started the Imported from Detroit Project, and helped drive sales of the new Chrysler 200 all year long. The 200, made at our Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant, finished 2011 with 87,033 cars sold, far more than the 38,620 Sebrings sold in 2010.

3) Chrysler Group employees, contractors, suppliers and vendors. While Sergio Marchionne leads the way, it takes everyone connected to the company to do their job to the best of their ability to ensure the company founded by Walter P. Chrysler continues to prosper.

2) Chrysler Group dealers: They've faced some tough times just like we have, and have survived. They're out in front, working with and trying to help customers with sales and service. The fate of Chrysler Group and our dealers are intimately intertwined.

And the #1 reason Chrysler Group had a great year....the nearly 1.4 million people in the U.S. who put their faith in us and purchased a new vehicle. The company, our dealers and supply chain would be non-existent without your support and confidence in us.

Thank you.

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SRT family (L to R) 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

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2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Arctic