by Patrick Rall
July 2011 was a good month for the Chrysler Group as they lead the entire American auto industry in year over year sales growth among major automotive groups (July 2011 compared to July 2010). The Chrysler Group sold 112,026 cars, trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles in July 2011 – a 20% improvement over the same month last year.
The biggest contributor to the success of the Chrysler Group was Jeep with 38,691 SUVs (up 46% from last year) making the Trail Rated
brand the top seller among the five in the Group. Also, Fiat reached a
new best for monthly sales with 3,038 new 500s sold last month.
The Dodge brand was the Group’s second best in terms of both year over
year growth and monthly sales with 33,653 vehicles accounting for a 9%
increase. The Dodge Durango was the top dog in terms of growth with an
incredible increase of 53,540% – that’s fifty three thousand…five
hundred and forty percent growth from July 2010 to July 2011. That
should be a pretty clear indication of the improvements made to the
The 9% growth of the Dodge brand is attributed almost entirely to the
Durango but the Dodge Caliber also showed growth last month with 3,305
vehicles accounting for a 14% improvement. Inexplicably, the rest of
the Dodge lineup showed negative growth in July 2011 with the Avenger
being the “best” in only dropping by 2%. The top vehicle in terms of
sales for Dodge was the Caravan lineup with 6,485 minivans sold with
aforementioned Durango placing second and the Charger ringing in third
at 5,344 units sold. The Dodge Journey was 4th in sales with 4,180
crossovers sold and the Dodge Challenger was 5th in brand sales with
3,509 muscle cars sold.
The Ram Truck brand just about broke even in year over year sales,
selling 21,217 trucks in July 2011 where they sold 21,239 in July 2010.
That reduction of 18 trucks is negative growth, but with the Dakota
sales tapering off as the life cycle ends, the Ram Pickup showed growth
last month to help the group formerly known as Dodge trucks to show a 0%
growth. Ram sold 908 Dakota pickups in July 2011 while the full sized
Ram lineup sent out 20,311 trucks.
Over a year out of production, the infamous Dodge Viper SRT10 still
moved 14 units last month – a decline of 61% but it is still nice to see
people snatching up the last of the showroom-new Dodge Supercars. By
this time next year, we should all be drooling over the 2013 Dodge
Viper. Also, the Dodge brand should benefit from Fiat engine technology
within the next six months – possibly in the form of the next Dodge
Caliber – with the bragging rights of hitting 40 miles per gallon.
Dodge has made great strides to improve the fuel economy of their lineup
but a 40mpg vehicle could really give Dodge a foothold against the likes of
the fuel sipping compacts from Ford and GM.
Does anything surprise you about these numbers? Voice your opinion here!