DETROIT -- The employee-discount blitz drove up the Chrysler group's U.S. third-quarter marketing costs, but operating profits climbed.
Last week Chrysler posted a third-quarter operating profit of $374 million, up 43 percent from $262 million in the same period of 2004.
New products and aggressive selling boosted Chrysler, the company said. "The increase in operating profit was due to the market success of new products and the success of the Employee Pricing Plus sales program," Chrysler said in a statement.
Chrysler paid more to sell its vehicles in the third quarter than a year ago. General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler used employee-discount pricing to spur sales in the period.
Chrysler's U.S. marketing costs as a percent of revenue totaled 20.4 percent in the third quarter of 2005, compared with 16.6 percent in the same period of 2004, the company said.
Chrysler said its sales momentum will continue. The company "expects full-year unit sales to surpass last year's figure," it said in the statement. Chrysler sold 2,206,024 units in the United States in 2004.
Chrysler's fleet sales climbed in the third quarter of 2005, rising 3.4 percentage points to 17.2 percent of U.S. sales, compared with 13.8 percent a year ago. Leasing fell 2.7 percentage points in the third quarter to 13.2 percent of U.S. retail sales, compared with 15.9 percent a year ago.
DaimlerChrysler AG posted net income of $910 million in the third quarter, down 21 percent from $1.15 billion in the same period a year ago. Net income in the third quarter of 2004 included the sale of the company's stake in Hyundai Motor Co.
You may e-mail Mary Connelly at