U.S. December sales fall; up from November
Chrysler LLC today reported total December 2008 U.S. sales of 89,813 units, up 5 percent versus November 2008 (85,260 units), and down 53 percent from the same month in 2007.
For the year, Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge U.S. sales decreased 30 percent (1,453,122 units) compared with total 2007 sales (2,076,650 units). Total sales were significantly affected by the industry’s largest reductions in fleet sales, 63 percent for December and 31 percent for the year.
“Last year Chrysler and all of our stakeholders persevered through extraordinarily difficult economic conditions, made the necessary adjustments and always kept our focus on serving our customers,” President and Vice Chairman Jim Press said. “As a result, our company and our dealer network start this year stronger and better positioned to succeed in today’s marketplace.
“From a customer perspective, we see consumers selecting vehicles based on their long-term transportation needs and committing to keeping vehicles for longer periods. As a result, characteristics such as utility, flexibility, efficiency and quality will grow in importance. In terms of product focus, Chrysler will continue to invest in quality and fuel efficiency improvements on its current lineup, while developing all-new vehicles for the next generation.
“From an organizational viewpoint, we will work with all of our stakeholders to continue the restructuring our Company. We have a special bond with the American people now and pledge to continue our efforts to provide the best quality and best value in the marketplace. We are committed to help drive America forward.”
December sales highlights
All Jeep brand vehicles achieved sales growth over November 2008 sales. Jeep Wrangler, the brand’s top-selling model, marked sales growth of 15 percent (7,048 units) from November.
Sales of the Jeep Patriot were up 6 percent in December (2,597 units) compared with November 2008. Year-to-date, Patriot sales grew 38 percent to reach 55,654 units.
Minivan sales gained momentum from November. Chrysler Town & Country sales in December grew 9 percent (8,152 units) and Dodge Grand Caravan sales increased 14 percent (6,927 units).
Dodge Ram light duty pickup sales were up 10 percent (10,601 units) compared with November 2008, fueled by the availability of the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram.
The company finished the month with 397,569 units of inventory, or a 115-day supply. Inventory is down 9 percent compared with December 2007 when it totaled 438,390 units.
Chrysler continues to offer customers highly competitive discount and financing programs to kick off 2009. In addition to offering discounts of up to $6,000 on 2008 model year vehicles and up to $3,000 on 2009 model year vehicles to all customers, the company also is working with Chrysler Financial and additional financing companies around the country to create packages that offer customers a wide range of options for lease and purchase financing. On select 2008 models, zero percent financing is available for 72 months, and rates as low as 1.9 percent APR are available on select 2009 models.
For the new year, Chrysler has entered into a partnership with credit unions across the nation to offer an additional $500 to $1,000 discount when any of the 90 million members of credit unions purchase or lease a new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle. This program was successfully piloted in December in 12 states.