On Tuesday, Chrysler Group LCC reported September sales of 142,041 vehicles, a 12 percent increase over sales in September 2011. The rise in sales was spread across the company’s portfolio of brands, with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck, and Fiat all seeing increases in their sales, as compared to last year, a spokesman for Chrysler said. The 12 percent rise makes this the best September for the auto manufacturer since September 2007, and provided further indication that the automotive market is returning, in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown.
A spokesman for the company attributed the increase in sales not only to the continued economic recovery, but also to favorable interest rates, and growing consumer confidence in Chrysler’s vehicles.
“Going forward with our current 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, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, said in a statement.
Part of the increase in September sales is attributable to the strong demand for Chrysler’s reintroduced Dodge Dart, which debuted earlier in 2012. The company moved 5,235 Darts off its lots in September, a full 72 percent better than in August, just a month prior.
The Fiat brand had a landmark month as well. The Italian automaker, which is affiliated with Chrysler, sold 4,176 vehicles in September, the most it has ever moved in one month within the U.S.
Also fueling sales were the cash offers available on the company’s trucks. The average truck came with incentive totaling more than $3000 last month.
The new products and incentives allowed the company to tap into pent up demand among American consumers, who have been reticent to make large purchases, like new cars, in the recent weak economy. As the recovery continues, Chrysler and the other auto manufacturers are benefiting from a backlog of drivers who have wanted new cars, but were unable or unwilling to purchase them over the last few years.
The rise in auto sales in September puts the seasonally adjusted rate for U.S. auto sales at 14.9 million now, almost half a million units higher than the 14.5 units that analysts forecast at the beginning of September.
A similar rise in sales was not seen by all U.S. auto manufacturers. At press time, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) was reporting September sales of 174,976, unchanged from last September, although the company did note that its small car sales in September were the strongest they have been in 10 years.
Chrysler is a privately traded company, so the exact valuation of a share is unavailable. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is currently trading at $9.75, or down 1.81%.
By Jordan Holliday
Jordan Holliday is a freelance writer, who has written about a range of industries. They include higher education, tech start ups, the financial sector, and professional and college sports. His work has appeared in a number of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, and when he’s not wearing his journalist hat, he’s the author of two series of crime and fantasy novels, available through Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Jordan is based in North Carolina, where he lives with his dog, Cornbread.