Chrysler Group LLC’s U.S. auto sales gained 5 percent in March marking the third full-year of sales growth in the month.
The company was able to sell more cars in the month that helped it to compensate for the weaker truck sales. The earlier milestone was a streak of 35-consecutive months that occurred from February 1992 through December 1994.
Though impressive, the results were the below the expectations of Edmunds.com, a car-shopping website. According to the website, the auto sales for March was expected to increase by 5.3 percent over the previous year and 24 percent over the last month.
“With our 5 percent sales increase in March, Chrysler Group has now achieved year-over-year sales gains in every month for the past three years,” said Reid Bigland, Chrysler head of U.S. Sales. The executive told that the company was able to post strong sales despite inventory restraints last month for few of the Chrysler’s most popular models including Jeep.
The Auburn Hills-based automaker sold 171,606 cars and trucks in March. Including the March sales, the first three-months sales for the company have risen by 8 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2012.
The Ram Truck brand registered the largest sales gain for any of the Chrysler brand with 24 percent rise in sales. Chrysler refreshed, both Light-Duty Ram and Heavy-Duty Ram pickups for the 2013 model year. Sales for the Light-Duty Ram pickups were up by 30 percent while for the Heavy Duty Ram sales were up by 28 percent. Other models that registered all-time sales last month included the Dodge Dart compact car, Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan; Dodge Challenger muscle car and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan.
The Dodge brand sales were up 15 percent over March 2012 while the sales for Fiat brand were up 3 percent. Chrysler brand’s sales were down 2 percent and Jeep down 13 percent.
According to the company, the less than expected performance of the Jeep’s was mainly due to inventory constraints and ongoing product launches. Jeep sales were down 12 percent when compared to last year despite March being the Jeep’s best sales month so far in 2013.
Chrysler is the first of the Detroit Three to release its sales report for March. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and non-domestic automakers are expected to come up with their sales figures later today.