Everyone new that this was coming. Jeep sales are down. Chrysler did try to put a positive spin on the announcement, but that is difficult to do when looking at the numbers. Since gas was slightly over 3 dollars a gallon for the most of the summer, that doesn’t make many people run out and buy new SUVs. With a mild winter forecasted, the numbers may not get much better for the Chrysler Group. Press release after the jump.
Chrysler Group reported sales for September 2006 of 168,888 units; a decline of 7 percent (4 percent decline, unadjusted) compared to September 2005 sales of 175,556 units. Sales are reported on an adjusted basis unless otherwise indicated.
“The new, more fuel-efficient products in our portfolio are available in the marketplace, and customers are responding positively to their arrival,” said Steven Landry, Vice President – Sales and Field Operations, Chrysler Group. “The Dodge Caliber and Jeep(R) Compass are both strong selling products and the Dodge Nitro is showing great momentum in the short time it has been available. And, we’ve got more great products to launch in the fourth quarter.”
The Jeep Commander contributed to a strong 11 percent increase in sales of the sport-utility category for the Chrysler Group and a 22 percent rise in Jeep brand sales. The Jeep Commander posted a monthly sales record of 9,780 units, an increase of 517 percent over September 2005 sales of 1,524 units, the first month it was available.
The Jeep Compass continues its strong momentum, posting sales of 3,680 units, an increase of 85 percent over August 2006 sales of 2,061 units. The Jeep Compass expands the product portfolio of the Jeep brand with an all-new, modern-styled compact Jeep that delivers fun, freedom, utility, excellent fuel efficiency and Jeep 4×4 capability at a terrific value.
“We intend to remain competitive in the marketplace with great new fuel- efficient product introductions like the Jeep Compass and Dodge Nitro,” said Michael Manley, Vice President – Sales Strategy and Dealer Operations, Chrysler Group. “Our hallmark is great products at a great value with the best of American and German engineering and design. We intend to rely on those strengths and offer something truly unique to customers in the market who want to buy a new vehicle.”
Chrysler Group finished the month with 533,220 units of inventory, or an 82-day supply.