In recent years, Chrysler Group LLC has become more reliant on rental car agencies, governments and other bulk buyers. Chrysler now predicts that fleet sales as a percentage of its U.S. deliveries will decrease to the industry average this year.
Edmunds, which tracks auto sales, said that Chrysler's U.S. sales to corporate, government and rental-car company buyers made up 25% of deliveries in December and January -- the lowest level since August 2009. These figures aren’t released publicly by Chrysler, which is operated by Fiat SpA.
Chrysler is aiming to raise profits for individual retail customers as it prepares for an initial public offering in the second half of 2011. Edmunds said that Chrysler's U.S. fleet business averaged 38% in 2010, twice the industry's 19%.
In an interview, Fred Diaz, head of Chrysler's U.S. sales, said that it expects to “be at industry average” by the end of the year. Diaz didn’t say what Chrysler’s specific fleet sales were but he said it was lower than 25% of overall sales in December.
Edmunds noted further that its fleet sales reached a high of 56% of all sales in February 2010 and fell to 27% in November, the first of three straight months at less than 30%. [via autonews - sub. required]