Chrysler February 2013 US Sales: Group Sees Biggest Jump Since 2008; Revived Dart Sales Highest Since Recent Debut; Jeep Cherokee Down 26 Percent

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Chrysler LLC, a subsidiary of Italian company Fiat SpA (Milan:F) said on Friday that it sold 139,015 vehicles in the U.S. in February, a 4 percent year-over-year increase, led by robust sales of its Dodge brand of automobiles. Overall February sales for the company were the highest in five years.

“In spite of a cautious ramp up of some of our most popular products, which limited inventory last month, we still managed to record our strongest February sales in five years and our 35th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based maker of the popular Ram Truck.

Top-selling Chrysler models for February include the recently resurrected Dodge Dart, which saw an 8 percent rise in month-over-month sales, the highest increase since the model’s June 2012 debut. The Challenger muscle car saw an all-time monthly record sales gain of 34 percent, or 4,911 units. Charger sales rose 41 percent year-over-year to 10,301 units.

The company’s most popular vehicle, the Ram pickup truck, rose 3 percent to 23,289 units. However, overall truck sales declined 8 percent.

Losers for the month include the Chrysler 300 luxury sedan, whose sales fell 35 percent; the Town & Country minivan, which saw a 10 percent drop; the Jeep Caravan, whose sales declined 18 percent; and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the sales of which were down 26 percent.

The winners? The Chrysler 200 entry-level luxury sedan (up 18%), the Jeep Patriot (up 24 percent), the Dodge Journey minivan (up 21 percent). 

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