Jeep sets global sales record, up 4% over record 2012

Visitors examine the Jeep Wrangler during the IFEMA Trade Fair Institution in Madrid in November 2013. Jeep set a global sales record in 2013 with sales of 731,565 vehicles, up 4 percent.

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
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DETROIT -- Chrysler Group's Jeep brand set a global sales record in 2013 with sales of 731,565 vehicles, up 4 percent from the previous year's record despite not having the Jeep Cherokee available for sale until late October.

Three nameplates -- the Wrangler, Compass and Patriot -- set global and U.S. sales records in 2013, the company said. The Grand Cherokee was the brand's top-selling model globally at 255,005 units, followed by the Wrangler at 210,715.

Jeep is Chrysler Group's only global brand and is expected to account for the vast majority of the automaker's worldwide sales. In 2009, the automaker projected that Jeep would sell at least 700,000 vehicles globally in 2013, on the way to 800,000 sales in 2014.

The delayed launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee made the goal more difficult.

The new mid-sized SUV arrived at U.S. dealerships in late October after Jeep engineers recalibrated its nine-speed automatic transmission. Since the Cherokee's release, it has produced U.S. sales of more than 25,000 units, and it outsold the Wrangler in December.

"We achieved this record while being out of the world's largest SUV segment for three quarters of the year," Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley said in a statement. "With a full lineup of capable, efficient SUVs -- and with Cherokee arriving in Jeep showrooms across the globe -- we expect to continue our sales momentum in 2014."

Jeep's 2013 global sales record included a 3 percent gain in the United States, its largest market. Deliveries rose 26 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, including a 29 percent rise in China. In 2012 the brand recorded volume increases of 19 percent globally and 13 percent in the United States, compared with 2011.

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

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