Record monthly Jeep sales push Chrysler Group up 17%

DETROIT -- Hot Jeep sales helped push Chrysler Group’s U.S. sales up 17 percent in May.

The company reported monthly sales of 194,421 units in May, its 50th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Five vehicles set all-time monthly sales records while three others set records for May.

The Jeep brand, which had never before topped 60,000 sales in a month, was up 58 percent in May to 70,203 units. Four of Jeep’s five vehicles set sales records.

Sales of the Jeep Wrangler climbed 18 percent last month to shatter the off-roader’s previous monthly sales record, set in May 2013.

The Jeep Compass and Cherokee also set monthly sales records, while the Patriot set a sales record for May. The Grand Cherokee had its best May since 2000.

The Ram pickup also continued its strong sales, climbing 17 percent in May over the previous year. Light-duty pickup sales were up 14 percent, while sales of heavy-duty pickups climbed 34 percent.

Fiat sales set a monthly record in May, up 18 percent, as record monthly sales of the 500L four-door hatchback offset an 18 percent decline in sales of the 500 minicar.

Dodge sales climbed 3 percent in May, while the Dart recorded its best monthly sales ever, and the Challenger and Journey posted their best May sales ever.

Chrysler brand sales fell 22 percent as dealers sold off dwindling inventories of 2014 Chrysler 200s. Shipments of the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 to dealers began in early May.

The automaker said it ended the month with a 69-day supply of unsold vehicles on hand.

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