The Detroit-based subsidiary of Italian Fiat SpA (BIT:F) sold 142,041 cars last month, a 12 percent increase from the year before and the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Third-quarter sales rose 13 percent from last year.
Car sales grew 27 percent while truck sales experienced single-digit growth of 6 percent. Fiat sales led the way with a robust 51 percent increase, while the Dodge brand recorded an 18 percent sales gain, the biggest since 2007, prior to the 2008-09 recession. Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and was subsequently acquired by Fiat.
“Going forward with our product lineup, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it,” Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Dodge and the head of U.S. sales, said in a statement.
Sales of the Fiat 500 hit a record and the Fiat 500 Cabrio saw sales climb 44 percent from last year. This month the Fiat 500 Turbo hits showrooms.
The Dodge brand saw its second-best sales month this year. Dodge was the best seller of the Chrysler brand in September with a sales volume of 47,356 units, led by a 41 percent gain in sales of the Dodge Journey full-size crossover. The Dodge Avenger set a sales record last month with a sizeable 89 percent gain from last year.
Sales of Chryslers and Rams were up 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Both brands saw the biggest rise since 2007. The Ram Truck pickup was the best-selling model of the group with 25,973 vehicles sold in September. The Jeep Caravan came in second place with 13,488 sold last month. More than 12,000 each of Chrysler’s Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models rolled out of U.S. dealerships in September.
The group had a 65-day supply of inventory, 368,144 vehicles, at the end of September and projected a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.9 million units.
Fiat SpA (BIT:F) shares rose 1.88 percent to €4.33 in Milan on Tuesday.