Chrysler notches 26th straight monthly sales increase
Fiat 500 deliveries more than doubled to 4,003 last month in the United States.
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group rode record monthly sales of three vehicles with different personalities -- a Jeep SUV, a Fiat and a Dodge sporty car -- to a 30 percent sales gain in May.
It was Chrysler's 26th consecutive year-over-year gain in monthly sales.
Chrysler sold 150,041 vehicles in May, up from 115,363 in May 2011. Chrysler said sales of light trucks, which account for about two-thirds of its monthly total, were up 24 percent, while car sales rose 45 percent in May.
Three models, the Jeep Wrangler SUV, Fiat 500 subcompact and Dodge Challenger sporty car, set all time monthly sales records, Chrysler said. Its twin mid-sized sedans, the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, had their best May ever.
Overall, Chrysler recorded its best May sales since 2007, when it was owned by Daimler AG.
"In spite of a tremendous amount of global economic uncertainty, the U.S. new-vehicle sales industry continues to power ahead," said Reid Bigland, Dodge brand chief and head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, in a statement.
He said the automaker was "in the process of adding production capacity as quickly as possible to meet strong demand."
The Chrysler brand had the group's highest year-over-year sales increase in May at 81 percent. Sales of Town & Country minivans rose 56 percent to 10,323.
Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month that Chrysler plans to end production of its Chrysler-branded minivan and replace it with a luxury crossover.
The Dodge brand was the group's top-selling brand last month, edging Jeep. Dodge sold 45,793 units; Jeep, 44,198.
Dodge sales were up 14 percent for the month despite year-over-year sales declines in two of its vehicles, the Dodge Charger sedan and Dodge Durango SUV.
Jeep was up 24 percent in May thanks to a 40 percent increase in sales of its flagship Grand Cherokee SUV and despite an 18 percent decline in sales of the compact Compass. Marchionne also said last month that the Compass would be replaced in August 2014.
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