Tuesday, July 1, 2008

As we told you a day ago

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC posted the biggest sales decline in the U.S. auto industry last month.

The privately owned automaker sold 117,457 cars and trucks in June, down 36 percent from June a year ago.

"The June results reflect the industrywide impact of U.S. consumer confidence being at its lowest point since 1992," Jim Press, Chrysler's co-president, said in a statement.

Among the worst performances in the lineup for June: the Jeep Commander was down 68 percent to 1,961 vehicles, the Dodge Durango plummeted 67 percent to 1,723 vehicles, and the Chrysler Aspen fell 49 percent to 944 units sold.

To help offset slowing sales, Chrysler is extending its $2.99-per-gallon gasoline price guarantee to the end of July.

Chrysler did have a few bright spots in June. The Patriot small SUV posted a 6 percent sales increase over a year ago. The Dodge Grand Caravan was the company's star performer with sales of 14,214, a 52 percent increase over a year ago. And Dodge sold 1,024 new Challenger muscle cars, despite high gasoline prices.

The figures in this story and from Chrysler are not adjusted for the number of sales per month.

PRESS RELEASE: Chrysler LLC Reports June 2008 Sales; Let's Refuel America $2.99 Gas Guarantee Plus Cash Extended Through July 31

* Let's Refuel America extended through July 31; continues to help drive showroom traffic, sales of most fuel-efficient vehicles

* New Dodge Journey becoming a hit in the crossover market

* Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivan sales increase in June

* New fuel-efficient vehicles see increased year-to-date sales

Auburn Hills, Mich., Jul 1, 2008 - Chrysler LLC today reported total June 2008 U.S. sales of 117,457 units, which is 36 percent below the same period last year. Total June sales reflect a continued contraction of the market, especially of pickup trucks and SUVs, continued reductions in fleet sales, and increases in Chrysler's newest highly fuel-efficient vehicles. All sales figures are reported as unadjusted.

"The June results reflect the industry-wide impact of U.S. consumer confidence being at its lowest point since 1992," Jim Press, President and Vice-Chairman of Chrysler LLC said. "But Chrysler is fighting back and making progress by continuing to invest in our products and aligning our volume with the market.

"During difficult periods like this, it is critical that we continue to evolve our products to meet our customers' needs and as a result, be a stronger company when the economy recovers. Examples of this evolution are our six vehicles that get 28 miles per gallon, and the 2009 Dodge Ram and 2009 Chrysler Aspen/Dodge Durango Hybrids with improved fuel economy, innovative storage, and industry-leading Internet connectivity options."

Chrysler's Let's Refuel America $2.99 Gas Guarantee Plus Cash program has been extended through July 31. The program continues to help improve showroom traffic and drive sales of the company's most fuel-efficient vehicles. For July, the program will offer the unique opportunity for customers to lock in their gas prices at $2.99 for three years and get cash back (on the majority of vehicles). The other two incentive choices offered are cash back alone or 0 percent APR financing. Since the program began in May, the vehicles in Chrysler's lineup with the highest gas program take rate were the Chrysler Sebring Sedan, Dodge Journey, Dodge Caliber and Dodge Avenger.

The Dodge Journey is making its mark in the crossover segment with best-in-class fuel economy (19 city/25 mpg highway) and award-winning seven- passenger interior utility. The Dodge Journey reached 5,162 units in its fifth month of sales to become one of the most popular mid-size crossovers in the market.

Compact Vehicles Growth

The all-new Jeep® Patriot posted sales for June with 4,889 units, up 6 percent compared with June 2007 sales of 4,633 units. Combined year-to-date (YTD) total sales of the fuel-efficient Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot compact vehicles which each achieve 28 miles per gallon or better in highway driving, reached 114,188 units, up 18 percent from YTD 2007 combined sales of 96,553 units.

Minivan Highlights

The Dodge Grand Caravan posted total June sales of 14,214 units, an increase of 52 percent versus June 2007 sales of 9,342 units. The Chrysler Town & Country also saw strong sales in June with 9,833 units, up 21 percent compared with June 2007 sales of 8,151 units. Through June YTD, new customer sales increased (retail only) 27 percent for Chrysler's two, new long-wheelbase minivans, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, compared with the same two long-wheelbase models last year. Minivans remain a fuel-efficient option over large SUVs for transporting seven passengers and cargo, getting up to 24 miles per gallon on the highway (3.3L engine).

Despite slow industry sales, the Company finished the month with 440,075 units of inventory, or a 90-day supply. As part of a planned reduction, inventory is down 9 percent compared with June 2007 when it totaled 485,429 units.

Cars and Compact Vehicles

Sales of these cars and car-based compact vehicles represent 40 percent of Chrysler's lineup through June, an increase from 35 percent of the lineup a year ago. Chrysler's lineup of cars and compact vehicles continue to connect well with consumers, led by six vehicles which achieve 28 miles per gallon or better in highway driving.

Chrysler's lineup of cars and compact vehicles includes:

Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Viper, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Crossfire, Jeep Patriot and the Jeep Compass.

Minivans and Crossovers:

Sales of these car-like vehicles represent 20 percent of Chrysler's sales through June, an increase from 19 percent of the lineup a year ago. Chrysler's all-new long-wheelbase minivans continue to build on its segment dominance by offering exclusive features like Swivel 'n Go™ seating system and Sirius Backseat TV along with excellent fuel efficiency. Chrysler's crossover vehicles combine the versatility of a large sport-utility vehicle with the efficiency of a passenger car. The Dodge Journey gets best-in-class fuel economy (19 city/25 mpg highway).

Chrysler's lineup of minivans and crossovers includes:

Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Journey and the Chrysler Pacifica.

Pickup Trucks and mid and Large SUVs:

Sales of these vehicles represent 40 percent of Chrysler's sales through June, a decrease from 46 percent of the lineup a year ago. This fall, Chrysler will launch a more fuel-efficient 2009 Dodge Ram and hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen. The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid will deliver fuel economy up to 20 miles per gallon--a 40 percent improvement in the city and 25 percent overall. Hybrid and light-duty diesel versions of the new Dodge Ram will be available in the future.

Chrysler's lineup of pickup trucks and mid and large SUVs includes:

Dodge Ram; Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Sprinter, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Commander.

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