By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group had another great month in March 2013 with the 36th straight month where the group has posted year over year gains but key to the success of the company last month were the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Dart – both of which posted their best sales months ever. For the Dodge Dart, numbers are still growing after the introduction of the sporty new C segment sedan so record numbers are expected but for the Dodge Challenger, the record sales numbers are far more significant.
For the first time since being introduced back in June 2012, the Dodge Dart broke the 8,000 unit mark in the monthly sales column. With 8,091 Dart sedans sold in March 2013, the sport compact Dodge sedan continues its climb to fame with month to month gains in every month except for an odd stumble in November 2012. The Dart still has a long way to go before it catches competition like the Ford Focus or the Chevy Cruze but for such a young model in a popular segment – the Dart is headed in the right direction. On the year, Dodge has sold 22,965 copies of the Dart compared to the 25,303 sedans sold during the seven month sales run in 2012.
Unlike the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro which have been posting declining sales numbers, the Challenger continues to grow even without any real changes over the past few years. In March, Dodge sold 6,132 Challengers and not only is this the first time that the brawny Mopar muscle car broke the 6,000 unit sales mark but it is also the first time that the Challenger has topped 5,000 sales units in a month. The previous best sales month was just a month earlier when Dodge sold 4,911 Challengers in February. The Challenger was still third in segment sales behind the Camaro and Mustang but even without any changes over the past few years – the Challenger continues to move more and more units. On the year, the Dodge Challenger has moved 14,540 units, accounting for a 38% improvement over the first quarter of 2012.
Other notables from March 2013 included the Dodge Avenger, the Durango, the Ram pickup family and the new SRT Viper. The Avenger continues to benefit from the foot traffic created by the new Dodge Dart with a 33% improvement over the same month in 2012. The Durango battled back in the hot large SUV segment, improving by 19% while the sibling Jeep Grand Cherokee dropped by 10%. The Ram pickup family (which includes all Ram full size pickups) improved by 25% in moving 33,831 trucks and finally the SRT Viper had 3 official sales in March – bringing the grand total of new Vipers sold up to 4.