By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group led the American auto industry in sales growth in February 2012 compared to the same month one year ago and while the Chrysler brand played a major role with an improvement of 115%, the Dodge and Ram brands both showed strong growth of their own – with both of these brands having their best February since 2008.
The Dodge brand showed a growth of 27% while moving 42,692 new
vehicles. The top models from Dodge in terms of growth were the Charger
(up 124%) and the Avenger (+89%), with these same two popular sellers
ranking second and third among Dodge models in terms of sales volume
with 7,324 Chargers and 6,570 Avengers sold. The Dodge Caravan lineup
was the top model in terms of sales volume with 12,668 minivans sold
last month (+20%). The Dodge Challenger had showed a growth of 14% from
the same month in 2011 – making for the best February in the history of
the modern Challenger.
The Ram Truck brand had a 15% increase of its own in February 2012 while
selling 23,282 vehicles – 22,595 of which were from the Ram Pickup
lineup. The Ram Pickup showed a growth of 21% last month, making the
22nd consecutive month where a year over year improvement has been
posted. While Ram brand sales have slumped a bit since the demise of
the Dakota, the new Ram C/V moved 548 units last month as the new
workhorse minivan begins to hit markets around the country.
The Dodge brand should soon benefit from the introduction of the new
Dodge Dart – which is entering a segment comprised of some of the most
popular models in the US market like the Ford Focus and the Chevy
Cruze. If the Dart can make a real impact in the C segment, Dodge will
have a heavy hitter in one of the most important segments where it has
been absent since killing off the Neon in the early 2000s.