2011_Chrysler_Foundation_CJ.jpgby Patrick Rall

    The Dodge and Ram Truck brands both had good months in June 2011, continuing the steady growth of the Chrysler Group and helping this five-brand collaboration to be the top dogs in terms of year over year growth for July with an overall improvement of 30%.  Chrysler was led by the Jeep brand with a 74% gain over the same month in 2010 but Dodge and Ram Trucks both posted growth in June.

    The Dodge cars, minivans and SUVs moved 43,401 units in June 2011
    compared to 36,996 in June 2010 for an improvement of 17%.  This allowed
    Dodge to be the bestselling brand from the Chrysler Group and as is
    generally the case, Dodge was led in sales by the Caravan lineup with
    10,822 units (up 25% from last June).  The Dodge Charger was second in
    line with 7,215 units sold, followed by the new Dodge Durango with
    5,827, the refreshed Dodge Avenger at 5,605, the Dodge Journey at 4,651,
    the Caliber at 3,929, the Challenger at 3,384 and the Nitro was second
    to last with 1,994 units sold.  Last but certainly not least was the
    Dodge Viper which, while being out of production for over a year, saw 4
    new models leave showrooms, destined for the garages of some happy
    supercar owner.

    We can expect the Dodge brand to benefit from at least one new model as
    the replacement for the Dodge Caliber is due to hit early next year
    along with a 40mpg model using Fiat technology but for the duration of
    this year, the Dodge brand will go on with the current, popular model
    lineup.  However, we can expect the 2012 Dodge Charger to hit showrooms
    later this year and when it does, it will usher in the first 8-speed
    transmission in the Dodge lineup and with it, potential for ever better
    fuel economy for the V6 models.

    The Ram Truck brand also had a strong month in June 2011 with a 34%
    improvement in volume over the same month in 2010.  The Ram Pickup was
    the leader within the brand in both growth rate and sales volume with
    21,362 trucks offering a gain of 35% compared to last June.  The Dakota
    is slated to come to an end by the beginning of 2012 but in discussions
    with Ram Truck brand CEO Fred Diaz, something new is in the works but no
    information on just what will join the Ram Pickup has been offered. 
    Even with the Dakota coasting towards its end, the smaller of the two
    trucks moved 1,185 units for an improvement of 21% from last year.  The
    Ram Truck brand can expect to see a jump in sales when the new
    Caravan-based Ram C/V hits showrooms later this year.  While this is a
    minivan in form, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and heavy duty suspension allows
    the Ram Cargo Van to tow 3,600lbs and haul 1,800lbs – making it as
    capable as some small pickups.