By Patrick Rall
November 2012 was a good month for the Chrysler Group with four of the five brands showing positive year over year growth compared to the same month last year. Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge and Ram all showed growth while the Jeep brand stumbled a bit with a decline of just 3%. However, for Dodge and Ram Trucks, November was a very good month with the Dodge cars, vans and SUVs growing by 32% while the Ram Truck brand improved by 23% compared to last November.
As is generally the case, the Ram Truck brand was pretty much completely reliant on the sales of the popular Ram pickup family and in November 2012, Chrysler sold 24,337 new Ram trucks accounting for a 23% increase over November 2011. The only other vehicle in the lineup right now is the Ram C/V – a work rated minivan based on the Dodge Grand Caravan – and 737 copies of the C/V were sold last month for an increase of 226% over last year but due to the relatively low sales volume, the C/V has little impact on the overall brand’s sales growth. We can only expect things to continue to improve for the Ram Truck brand as the 2013 Ram 1500 (the 2013 Motor Trend Truck of the Year) hits dealerships in full force across the country.
The Dodge brand had a great month with all but one existing production model showing positive year over year growth in November 2012 with the only vehicles showing negative growth being the Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Viper, the Dodge Nitro and the Dodge Caliber. No Dodge Viper supercars or Nitro SUVs were sold last month while
dealerships sold 32 new-old-stock Calibers with all three of these models being well out of production. In terms of
sales growth, the top dog from the Dodge brand in November 2012 was the Journey (shown above) with the roomy crossover improving by 77% compared to the same month last year. The Grand Caravan was second with an increase of 42%, the Avenger was third with a jump of 26%, the Charger was fourth in growth with an increase of 24%, the Dodge Durango was fifth with an improvement of 4% and the mighty Dodge Challenger was the worst of the current production models with a 4% decline in growth from last year.
In terms of sales volume, the Dodge brand was led by Caravan family with 8,578 minivans sold followed by the Avenger in second with 7,132 midsized sedans sold and the Journey was third with 6,569 crossovers sold. The Dodge Charger ranked fourth in sales with 6,316 sedans sold, the new 2013 Dodge Dart was fifth in sales with 4,489 compact sedans sold, the Durango was sixth with 4,091 SUVs sold and the Challenger was seventh in sales among production models with 2,868 copies of the brawny muscle car sold last month.
The sales of the 2013 Dodge Dart should continue to be strong over the coming months as the new performance oriented Dart R/T arrives along with the new 41 mile per gallon Dart Aero later this year. Finally, the Dart SRT4 should help thrust the Dart into the sport compact segment early next year to complete the Dart family – further helping to expand the number of people interested in this sporty new compact sedan.