Jeep record powers FCA up 13% to best-ever December

The Jeep Cherokee midsize SUV, Compass compact crossover and Renegade subcompact crossover recorded their best-ever monthly sales, while the Wrangler midsize SUV, pictured, and Patriot compact crossover set December volume records. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

DETROIT -- Record Jeep sales pushed Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. volume up 13 percent last month to its best December in the company’s 90-year history.

FCA US reported U.S. sales of 217,527 in December, its 69th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. For the year, the automaker finished with 2,243,907 U.S. sales, up 7.3 percent from 2014.

As it did throughout 2015, Jeep powered the company last month, with the brand’s volume up 42 percent to 89,654, a monthly record. The Cherokee midsize SUV, Compass compact crossover and Renegade subcompact crossover recorded their best-ever monthly sales, while the Wrangler midsize SUV and Patriot compact crossover set December volume records. For the year, Jeep’s sales were up 25 percent to a record 865,028 -- more than twice the brand’s 2011 total.

Dodge volume climbed 5.7 percent in December on strong demand for the Durango large SUV and Grand Caravan minivan. In addition, the Journey compact crossover posted its best December sales. For the year, however, Dodge sales fell 9.9 percent, although the Challenger midsize sporty car, Dart compact car and Journey posted their best annual sales.

Ram sales rose 3.8 percent in December, despite a decline in volume of the Ram pickup. The ProMaster large commercial van and the ProMaster City small commercial van set monthly sales records. For the year, the brand’s sales were up 5.3 percent.

Fiat brand sales edged up 0.6 percent last month as volume of the new 500X subcompact crossover offset large declines by the 500 minicar and the 500L subcompact crossover. For the year, the brand’s sales were down 8 percent.

Chrysler brand sales fell 21 percent in December as volume of the 200 midsize sedan dropped by nearly half from December 2014. The decline overwhelmed increases by the 300 large sedan and the Town & Country minivan. For the year, Chrysler brand sales climbed 5.2 percent.

FCA said it ended the month with 631,668 unsold vehicles, an 81-day supply.

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

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