Chrysler's March sales of 24,032 units outside North America are the highest monthly sales total on record for the Company in the vitally important international markets.
Daimler Middle East and Levant, building on the remarkable sales success of 2007, closed March a significant 17% up on the same month last year.
'Things are really hotting up for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge right across the region,' said Trent Barcroft, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing at Daimler Middle East and Levant. 'We have the strongest ever line up of vehicles, and in addition to long-running success stories like the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger, our entry into new segments with models like the Jeep Patriot, Dodge Caliber and Nitro have proven to be extremely successful - we expected to attract new customers, but the response has really been amazing'.
The new product range has also been embraced by customers throughout Chrysler's international markets, who are looking for a vehicle that has real personality.
Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President of Chrysler LLC said:
'We congratulate all of our dealers in our international markets for achieving the best first quarter and month of sales ever in the company's history. Our expanded international dealer network and product line-up is creating a new generation of loyal customers in all parts of the world. Driving our international growth are new fuel-efficient models, like Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, and right-size performance vehicles such as the Dodge Caliber SRT4, which will arrive in markets outside North America later this year. It is truly an exciting time for Chrysler in markets around the world'.
European sales, which account for slightly more than half of Chrysler's sales outside North America, increased 4% in the first quarter.
Italy is the highest volume market for Chrysler outside of North America in 2008,with sales up 15% year-to-date to 6,170 units.
The UK market had its best first quarter Chrysler sales ever (5,609 units), an increase of 10%, and outsold all other markets during the month of March.
Russia is the company's highest-growth European market with sales up 94% year-to-date to 2,139 units, establishing a record in the market for the best quarter ever.
Chrysler's China sales more than doubled during the first quarter of 2008 (4,839 units), the greatest percentage increase of any volume market in the world for the Company.
The market nearly quadrupled sales for the month (2,652 units) compared to March 2007.
Much of this growth can be attributed to incremental sales of the locally-built Chrysler Sebring, which was launched last month and sold over 1,000 units - accounting for 22% of the market's first quarter sales.
Jeep and Dodge brand sales increased significantly through the first quarter, with Jeep sales up 11% (22,699 units), and Dodge sales up 46% (17,371 units).
For the first three months of this year, sales for the Chrysler Sebring (nearly 3,000 units) increased four and half times the sales volume reached by the previous model.
The top selling model for Chrysler outside North America in the first quarter is the fuel-efficient, C-segment vehicle - Dodge Caliber.
Chrysler LLC sells and services vehicles in more than 125 countries around the world.
Sales outside North America currently account for more than 9% of the Company's total global sales, up from 6% in 2000.
Vehicles available range across all three Chrysler brands, with limited availability on some trucks and SUV models.
The Company's operations outside North America have been experiencing year-over-year sales increases since 2004, with a record number of vehicles sold in 2007.
In 2008, Chrysler LLC will launch three all-new volume vehicles outside North America, one for each one of its brands, and will remain focused on strategic, profitable growth in markets around the world.
'The world, and in particular the Middle East, is already very excited about the Dodge Challenger, which should be with us towards the end of 2008,' concluded Barcroft, 'And we've got plenty more great products in the pipeline, so just watch us go!'