2013 U.S. sales up 9 percent to 1.8 million units

Jeep Cherokee, Ram ProMaster propel Chrysler

2013 U.S. sales up 9 percent to 1.8 million units

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DETROIT -- Strong sales of two new vehicles -- the 2014 Jeep Cherokee SUV and Ram ProMaster commercial van -- pushed Chrysler Group sales up 6 percent in December from the year-ago month.

Chrysler sold 161,007 vehicles in the United States last month, its 45th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

For the year, the automaker posted sales in the United States of 1,800,368 units, up 9 percent over 2012.

The Cherokee, which went on sale in October, outsold the Jeep Wrangler in December. It helped the Jeep brand post a 34 percent sales gain over the year-ago month and its best December sales ever.

Ram pickup sales, up 11 percent last month, finished the year up 21 percent.

Sales of the Ram ProMaster van, which also went on sale in October, more than doubled from November to 1,872. Ram brand sales were up 17 percent in December. For the year, Ram sales rose 22 percent, highest among the Chrysler Group brands.

Dodge sales posted their first monthly sales decline since May 2011, falling 9 percent. Only the Charger and Durango posted sales gains in December. For the year, Dodge sales were up 14 percent.

Similarly, only the Town & Country minivan posted a sales gain for the Chrysler brand last month, while sales for the brand overall fell 21 percent. For the year, Chrysler brand sales were down 2 percent.

Sales of the Fiat 500L, which went on sale in June, continued to offset losses to the smaller Fiat 500 subcompact. In December the Fiat brand posted a 1 percent sales gain and finished the year down 1 percent.

TrueCar.com said Chrysler Group's average transaction price climbed 2.6 percent in December, the second-biggest gain among major automakers, trailing only Volkswagen Group of America at 6.1 percent.

Chrysler finished the year with a 79-day supply of unsold inventory.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com.


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