CHELSEA, Mich. -- Chrysler Group's U.S. vehicle sales rose in June, extending the automaker's streak of monthly increases.
"We will achieve our 39th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth," Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of U.S. sales, told reporters today at the automaker's proving grounds here. "We've seen it pretty consistent. I would say good, not weak, not great, just kind of good, in the month of June."
Sales for Chrysler have benefited from redesigned Ram pickups, Jeep SUVs and the new Dodge Dart. This year through May, the company's U.S. deliveries gained 9 percent, better than the industrywide 7.3 percent increase.
Chrysler's Ram pickups surged 23 percent in the first five months, mimicking similar increases for large pickups at General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
Pickups are the major source of profit at the three automakers and deliveries of the trucks were helped by record energy production and a housing recovery.
Chrysler's majority owner Fiat is relying on Chrysler to offset losses at the Turin, Italy-based company's mass-market brands in Europe.
In a related matter, Chrysler said it began commercial production this week of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee in Toledo, Ohio.
The 2014 Cherokee, which shares many of its mechanical components with Chrysler's Dodge Dart sedan, will begin reaching U.S. dealers in August, according to Jeep boss Mike Manley.
Production of the new Cherokee should reach higher volumes in September, Manley said at a preview of Chrysler Group's 2014 lineup.
Manley said issues with fit and finish that had slowed the launch of the vehicle have been worked out, and he said the replacement for the Jeep Liberty would begin shipping in volume this fall, The Detroit News reported.
"We wouldn't go into commercial launch unless we were in the right stage to go into commercial launch," Manley told the News. "You always get issues when you go into production of a new vehicle. All-new vehicles are more complex than carry-over platforms."
Production of the Liberty was discontinued in August 2012, creating a major hole in Jeep's lineup that resulted in 6 consecutive monthly U.S. sales declines for the brand starting in October.
Jeep's U.S. sales are off 6 percent this year through May.
Bloomberg, Reuters and David Phillips contributed to this report.