FCA rides truck wave to advance 20% in December

Ram sales remained strong in December, with Ram pickup sales up 32 percent to record its best-ever December sales, led by the half-ton Ram 1500, which was up 45 percent. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

Record Jeep and Ram sales pushed FCA US up 20 percent last month to its best December sales since 2004.

FCA, the new name for Chrysler Group, said it sold 193,261 units in the U.S. last month, its 57th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases.

For the year, FCA finished up 16 percent in the U.S. to 2,090,639 — the group’s highest annual total since 2006.

Eleven of the 21 vehicles in its lineup posted either monthly or all-time sales records in December, including all three Ram nameplates and three of the five Jeeps.

Jeep remained hot in December, with sales rising 19 percent. The Cherokee outsold the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler for the fourth consecutive month. The Wrangler recorded its best-ever December sales, while the Patriot had its best ever sales month in December.

Jeep finished the year with a brand record 692,348 sales in the U.S., up 41 percent for the year. With international sales included, Jeep was expected to surpass one million global sales for the first time in its history.

Ram sales also remained strong, with Ram pickup sales up 32 percent to record its best-ever December sales, led by the half-ton Ram 1500, which was up 45 percent. Sales of both the ProMaster and Ram C/V commercial vans also set sales records for the month of December.

Chrysler brand sales climbed 53 percent in December. Sales of the Chrysler 200 nearly tripled and set a sales record for the month of December. The midsize sedan’s U.S. sales were about 50 percent higher than the combined sales of the previous model 200 and the discontinued Dodge Avenger sedans in December 2013.

Fiat brand sales were up 1 percent in December. The brand had its best annual sales last year since it returned to the U.S. in 2011.

Dodge brand sales fell 2 percent for the month, despite record December sales from the Challenger, Dart and Journey.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com -- Follow Larry P. on Twitter: @LarryVellequett

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