Chrysler Group posts best July since 2005 on 20% gain

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DETROIT -- Strong sales of SUVs, pickups and minivans pushed Chrysler Group’s volume up 20 percent last month to its highest July U.S. sales in nine years.

Chrysler said it posted sales of 167,667 vehicles in July, its 52nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

All of Chrysler’s five brands were up, led by a 41 percent increase in Jeep sales. July was the fourth consecutive month that Jeep has been the company’s top selling brand in the United States.

Ram sales rose 18 percent and the Chrysler brand’s volume increased 17 percent. The Dodge brand was up 3 percent as it sells down the outgoing Avenger sedan, while Fiat sales climbed 1 percent.

Seven vehicles, including the Jeep Compass and Dodge Challenger and Journey, Fiat 500L and Ram Cargo Van had their best July sales ever. The Dodge Dart was up 23 percent and posted its third consecutive monthly record.

The Jeep Wrangler set a July record at 16,388 -- its third-best ever total for any month, eclipsed only by May and June of this year.

Sales of the Ram pickup rose 14 percent, with sales of the Ram 1500 half-ton up 15 percent over the same month a year ago, and sales of heavy-duty Ram vehicles up 18 percent.

Sales of the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 accounted for more than 80 percent of the mid-sized sedan’s 8,159 sales last month as the brand continues to sell down the last few thousand of the previous model.

Both of the company’s minivans had double-digit sales increases in July, with the Chrysler Town & Country up 41 percent and the Dodge Grand Caravan up 10 percent. Its large sedans, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, both recorded year-over-year sales increases for the first time since April.

Chrysler said it finished the month with more than a half-million unsold vehicles in inventory, a 78-day supply.

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


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