Chrysler Group LLC, one of the leading automakers in the United States, reported continued sales growth for the month of December. The company said its sales increased by 6% after selling 161,007 vehicles last month, its best December sales in six years.
However, the sales performance of the automaker for the month was below the 8.4% consensus sales growth estimated by analysts.
Jeep, Ram truck brands lead sales growth
According to Reid Bigland, head of U.S. Sales at Chrysler Group, the company ended 2013 with a sales gain for the 45th consecutive month led by the Jeep and Ram truck brands. During the period, the automaker’s Jeep brand recorded a sales increased of 34% and the Ram truck brand posted a 17% sales increase.
Chrysler Group sold 15,000 units of its all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, an increase of 48% while its new Ram 1500 was selected as Motor Trend’s 2014 Truck of the Year. In addition, the automaker said the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its 2014 Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 sedans with Top Safety Pick ratings.
“All I can say is Jeep, Jeep, Jeep. Car shoppers have forgiven or forgotten that the Cherokee had a stalled launch and they’re buying it in big numbers, ” said Michelle Krebs, analyst at Edmunds.com.
For the full year 2013, Chrysler Group reported a 9% sales increased compared with its sales performance in 2012. According to the company, among its brands, the Ram truck recorded the highest full-year sales growth of 22%. The automaker ended the year with 79 days supply of inventory or 508,615 units.
Fiat Acquires UAW’s stake in Chrysler
Fiat S.p.A (OTCMKTS:FIATY) recently announced that it will buyout the 41.5% stake owned by the United Auto Workers in Chrysler Group for $3.65 billion. The company also agreed that Chrysler will contribute $700 million into the healthcare cost of former union workers. The UAW also agreed to certain commitments to continue to support the industrial operations of the automaker and the further implementation of the merger of Fiat and Chrysler, which will finalize the creation of the seventh largest global automaker. Fiat stock was up as much as 16% after the news was announced yesterday.