For 42 consecutive months, Chrysler Group was able to post gains in the U.S. For the month of September 2013, it posted a 1% increase in deliveries, driven by higher demand for its cars and Ram pickups. Sales of Chrysler’s cars climbed by 3% while its light-truck volume stayed flat. Chrysler said that Ram sales grew by 8%, Dodge had a 3% increase, and the Chrysler brand had a 2% rise.
However, Fiat volume fell by 24% while that of Jeep dropped 5%. Chrysler reported an 8% rise in September deliveries for the Ram pickup to 28,145 units. The Ram pickup is one of the most profitable models from Chrysler. It’s also been recognized as one of the best performers in terms of volume in a hot segment this year.
Jeep sales are down 3% this year, hurt by the termination of the Jeep Liberty in 2012 and the postponement of the launch of the 2014 Cherokee (its replacement). The new Cherokee was slated to go on sale in the third quarter but due to software glitches, Chrysler had to move the schedule of the dealer shipments to a later time. In a statement, Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group, said that the selling days of September 2013 were fewer by two compared to September 2012 but even so, the group still did better than the industry.
It’s expected that when automakers post their September sales results, it will show an improvement as the industry is on a winning streak. However, the demand for light vehicles in the U.S. is predicted to drop mostly because the Labor Day holiday weekend sales were included in August sales. This marks its first drop since May 2011.
Deliveries in September fell by 3.8% to 1.14 million units, according to the average of 10 estimates that Bloomberg surveyed. It’s estimated that the annualized sales rate, adjusted for seasonal factors, will increase to 15.4 million (according to the average of 16 estimates that Bloomberg gathered) from 14.8 million in September 2012. Chrysler projected that the SAAR for September will be at 15.7 million units (which include medium- and heavy-duty trucks). [source: Chrysler]