By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group posted their best February in five years last month with 139,015 vehicles sold accounting for a 4% improvement over the same month in 2012. The Ram brand was up 2% thanks to the Ram truck lineup while the Dodge brand was the star of the company in February 2013 with 55,639 vehicles sold account for a 30% year over year gain for the brand.
Every existing model in the Dodge brand lineup except for the Caravan lineup showed positive growth in February with the Charger and Caravan both topping the 10,000 unit mark while the Avenger fell just short of 10k for the second month in a row. The big news was that the Dodge Dart and the Dodge Challenger each posted their best sales months ever.
For the Dodge Dart, February’s sales total of 7,720 compact sedans sold is the best month since the new Dart was launched in June of 2012. The Dart still has a long way to go to compete with the heavy hitters in the ultra competitive C segment but for the time being – the Dart is headed in the right direction. If nothing else, the Dart has proven itself to be more popular than the Caliber which it replaced and if not for the fact that dealers are deeply discounting the Avenger – which is causing some prospective Dart buyers to go with the Avenger – the Dart would likely be selling at a better rate.
The winter months are usually slower sales months for rear wheel drive performance cars but the Dodge Challenger managed to post its best sales month ever in February 2013. With 4,911 units sold last month, the company has never sold more Challengers since the brawny Mopar muscle car was introduced for the 2008 model year. The previous best month came in May 2012 when the company sold 4,816 copies of the Challenger in what proved to be a very good year as a whole.
While we expect to see things continue to improve for the new Dodge Dart, it will be interesting to see if the Challenger can continue this momentum into the warmer months of 2013. If the Challenger sales in February are an indication of how the 2-door Mopar muscle car will do throughout the rest of the year – this could be a banner year for the Hemi powered beast.