Jeep posts record global sales
DETROIT -- Global sales of Jeep-branded vehicles reached a record 701,626 units in 2012 despite the elimination of one nameplate.
The global figure topped the brand's previous record of 675,494, set in 1999, and was a 19 percent gain over 2011. The record puts the brand a full year ahead of schedule on the five-year sales plan Chrysler Group laid out in November 2009, when executives said Jeep would reach 800,000 units globally by 2014.
"It's good news," says Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand. "I have to say, though, that I'm not increasing my target for 2014. It would be a phenomenal achievement for the whole Jeep team if we got there earlier."
Jeep's sales in the United States -- its largest market, accounting for two-thirds of global volume -- reached 474,131, up 13 percent from 2011 and only about 80,000 units shy of Jeep's U.S. record set in 1999.
Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne views Jeep and Alfa Romeo as the company's two strongest global brands and has said strong Jeep sales are key to Chrysler's profitability. Jeep's projected 800,000 global sales in 2014 accounts for the largest brand share of the 2.8 million vehicles Chrysler plans to deliver worldwide next year. Jeep's top global sellers last year were the Grand Cherokee, posting 223,196 units, and Wrangler, at 194,142. Even Jeep's compact crossovers, the Compass and Patriot, had record years, with Compass sales reaching a global peak of 103,321 units despite a 16 percent U.S. drop. The Patriot had its best U.S. sales year, up 14 percent to 62,010 units.
The Jeep Liberty mid-sized SUV ended production in August and will be replaced this year by another vehicle. Jeep also has announced it intends to import a small, subcompact Jeep from Europe next year.
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