Chrysler up 9% on strong Jeep, Ram demand

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DETROIT -- Continued strong demand for SUVs and pickups pushed Chrysler Group's U.S. sales up 9 percent in June.

The company said it sold 171,086 vehicles in the United States last month, for its 51st consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best June sales since 2007.

In the first half of 2014, Chrysler Group’s sales rose 12 percent, putting it on pace to sell more than 2 million vehicles in the United States for the first time since 2007.

Jeep again led the automaker’s brands -- with a 28 percent sales gain in June -- just as it has every month since the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee last fall.

Three Jeep vehicles, the Patriot, Compass and Wrangler, had their best June sales ever. The Grand Cherokee was the only Jeep to suffer a sales decline, falling 9 percent.

Sales of Ram pickups climbed 12 percent in June, helping the Ram brand to a 14 percent sales increase. The company said light-duty sales -- which make up more than three-quarters of all Ram pickup sales -- were up 4 percent, while heavy-duty sales climbed 31 percent.

Fiat sales climbed 11 percent in June. Higher sales of the larger 500L offset a 5 percent drop in sales of the Fiat 500 minicar.

Dodge posted a 1 percent gain despite double-digit declines from the Charger and Challenger. The Dodge Dart and Journey recorded their best-ever June sales.

Sales of Chrysler-brand vehicles fell 12 percent in June, even as Town & Country minivan sales climbed 24 percent. Redesigned 2015 200 mid-sized sedans are filling the product pipeline to dealerships. In June, the 2015 model accounted for about two-thirds of the nameplate’s 7,345 sales.

The automaker has been deeply discounting 2014 Chrysler 200s and Dodge Avengers to make way for the updated Chrysler 200. Chrysler brand head Al Gardner said last week that about 17,000 of the previous generation 200s and Avengers remained in inventory.

Chrysler Group said it finished the month with a 72-day supply of inventory.

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


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