Despite a quirk in the sales calendar that reduced the number of days dealerships were open in September, the Chrysler Group once again grew sales last month, when the company delivered 143,017 units. It was a bare 976 more sales than in September 2012, marking an increase of about 0.7 percent, but with the industry as a whole in the red for the month—along with automakers like General Motors, Honda and Nissan—any increase is worth celebrating.
“Even though industry sales dipped during September, Chrysler Group still managed to eke out a slight sales increase for the month,” said Reid Bigland, head of U.S. Sales for the automaker. “Our dealers had two less selling days in September compared with a year ago, but they still outperformed the industry and extended our sales streak to 42 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains.”
Now, the two fewer days' worth of sales may not sound like much, but it works out to an 8 percent reduction in sales opportunities. In fact, after doing the math, it turns out that the Chrysler Group actually raised its sales per day by 9.4 percent in September—about 1 percent higher than the company's year-to-date growth rate.
The Chrysler Group also saw four vehicles set September sales records, seven entries post at least double-digit sales gains and three of five brands enjoying positive growth for the month. The division-by-division breakouts:
- Fiat—3,157 sales, -24 percent
- Chrysler—25,251 sales, +2 percent
- Jeep—37,464 sales, -5 percent
- Dodge—48,576 sales, +3 percent
- Ram—28,569 sales, +8 percent
September Auto Sales: Dodge Challenger Continues Muscle-car Mastery
Looking at the individual sales highlights for the Chrysler Group for the month, much credit has to be given to the 2013 Dodge Challenger for extending its year-long dominance of the muscle-car segment. The Challenger hasn't quite caught up to the sales volumes of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro, but while those rivals lost ground in September, and are in the red on a year-to-date basis as well, the Dodge just capped off its 10th consecutive monthly sales record with 3,932 deliveries that represented a 22 percent jump in volume; through September, the car's sales are up 27 percent (on 42,577 deliveries). Also, as incredible as it may seem, the Challenger may have an opportunity to surpass the Mustang next month, as it had closed the sales gap between the two to fewer than 500 units in September.
Among the Chrysler Group's other top sales performers from last month were:
- Jeep Compass—Setting a September volume record with 4,487 sales that were up 27 percent
- Jeep Patriot—Also scoring a record last month, thanks to a 12 percent sales spike and 6,053 deliveries
- Jeep Grand Cherokee—Posting its highest September sales total in a decade, backed by 14,906 deliveries and a 19 percent improvement
- Dodge Dart—Garnering enough momentum to earn its fourth straight month of sales gains, along with a 51 percent increase in volume to 7,922 units
- Dodge Charger—The brand's top-selling car, courtesy of 8,713 sales that reflected a 49 percent leap over September 2012
- Dodge Durango—Boasting 4,964 September sales and a 66 percent jump in volume as the Chrysler Group's biggest percentage gainer
- Ram pickup—Leading the company in sales with 28,569 deliveries that were 8 percent higher than in the same month last year
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