Chrysler Group LLC, a subsidiary of Italian Fiat SpA (Milan: F), reported on Friday that May U.S. auto sales up 30 percent, the best showing for the month in five years and the 26th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the revivified company.
Detroit-based Chrysler Group sold 150,041 vehicles in May and projects a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) of 14.2 million. Chrysler brand sales were up 81 percent for the best May sales in four years with the Chrysler 200 sedan gaining 87 percent and the Chrysler 300 posting triple-digit gains. Fiat brand sales rose 128 percent in May on the strength of Fiat 500 sales. Dealer orders of the sport Fiat 500 Abarth exceeded the production run for the 2012 model year. May was only the first full month of Abarth sales.
Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brand sales were also up, but more modestly. Jeep sales rose 24 percent, marking the brand's best May sales in 12 years as the Jeep Wrangler model gained 44 percent. Dodge sales increased 14 percent, the best May in four years for the brand as both the Avenger and Challenger models posted strong numbers. Ram sales were up 29 percent solely on the strength of the brand's pickup trucks. Chrysler Group's sales for the year are up 33 percent over the year before -- 64 percent in the car category and 22 percent in the truck category.