December Sales: Chrysler Up 16 Percent Thanks to Trucks and SUVs
If Chrysler's December 2010 sales are any indication, the automaker is still very reliant on big trucks and SUVs. The Jeep and Ram brands carried Chrysler to a 16 percent sales increase compared to December 2009.
While Chrysler and Dodge were down for December, all four brands were up for 2010 over calendar year 2009. In total, Chrysler sold 1,085,211 vehicles in 2010.
At Chrysler, the Town & Country continues to be the only significant producer, comprising 9780 units of the brand's 13,132 sales in December. Sales were down 28 percent at Chrysler. While the minivan was up 16 percent, everything else was down. The Sebring/200 and 300 saw sales decrease by at least 66 percent, though that picture is sure to change once the 200 and new 300 arrive in dealerships.
The Challenger muscle car was the only non-SUV or minivan at Dodge to post an increase in December. Up 31 percent, the Challenger contributed 3330 units. The Caliber and Charger were both down more than half, though the latter vehicle has a redesign heading to dealerships soon. The Nitro doubled its sales in December and the new Durango kicked in 361 units as its launch gets underway. Twenty-four Vipers were sold in December, a month in which Dodge sales were down 6 percent.
Once again, the story here is the Grand Cherokee. Sales of the new SUV surged 211 percent, to 12,753 units. The Wrangler -- now with a new interior -- followed with 8227 units sold while the Patriot saw sales go up 62 percent, to 4467 units. Liberty sales were up 9 percent, but the Compass was down 59 percent and outsold in its transition to the refreshed model by the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Jeep sales overall were up 49 percent.
The Dakota and Ram trucks were way up in December, helping the Ram brand increase 87 percent. The Ram pickup saw sales increase 93 percent, to 23,241 units, as Chrysler clears inventory of 2010 models with large incentives. The Ram pickup finished the year with 199,652 units.