[UPDATE 12:04 p.m. EDT] Karl Brauer, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst, on Chrysler’s new offers: “The revised Ram 1500 couldn't have been better timed given where truck sales have gone in recent months, and the updated Jeep Grand Cherokee is similarly driving strong overall Jeep sales. It's unfortunate the all-new Jeep Cherokee isn't in showrooms yet, and as it would surely be generating record sales for the brand given the current popularity of small SUVs. However, with such a strong sales month for the Chrysler Group overall it's somewhat disconcerting to see the Chrysler division down. The redesigned 200 sedan can't arrive soon enough.”
Original story on Chrysler’s July 2013 auto sales begins here:
Chrysler Group LLC, a subsidiary of Italian company Fiat SpA (Milan:F), said on Thursday it sold 140,102 vehicles in the U.S. in July, an 11 percent increase from a year ago but a 10.6 percent drop from June, helped by continued strong demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ram pickup truck.
The sales numbers missed the average 146,444 unit forecast by auto intelligence providers TrueCar.com, Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book.
“We continue to see strong retail sales, particularly with our pickup trucks and SUVs, and that has helped to propel Chrysler Group to our 40th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales, said. “In addition, the all-new Fiat 500L is off to a great start with 962 units sold in its first full month on sale.”
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TrueCar estimates that Chrysler's average transaction price in July was $29,814, down slightly from last year and below the average sale closing price for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM), which both had average transaction prices above $33,000. Chrysler spent $3,200 in per-sale incentives, according to TrueCar, above the industry average of $2,684 but below the Detroit Three average of $3,317. The higher the incentive the lower the profit margin.
Sales in the Chrysler brand declined 4 percent from a year ago, but the Chrysler 300 luxury sedan saw a 12 percent increase. Last month, the 300 sedan saw a 39 percent drop due largely to General Motors’ new Cadillac XTS gaining in the market for U.S. luxury cars in June. Jeep gained 2 percent after advancing one percent in July. Dodge brand sales increased 18 percent on sales of the Durango SUV, Challenger muscle car and the Dart that was reintroduced last year.
Sales of the Ram pickup, Chrysler's No. 1 seller, jumped 31 percent to 31,314 units.