With its best June results since the onset of the Bush Administration induced depression, Chrysler Group today reported U.S. sales of 156,686 units, an 8% increase compared with sales in June 2012 (144,811 units) in a market projected to grow by at least +12%. Nonetheless, it was the Group’s best June sales since 2007.
The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in June compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 23% increase to 31,000 trucks was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in June. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 39-consecutive months in June.
Unfortunately for buyers, the strong selling rate is matched by strong transaction prices. Thus far, in June, the average transaction price of new vehicles is $28,900, the highest ever for the month, according to J.D. Power, the source of the data. When final sales data are in, transaction prices are likely to be higher given the growing strength of the pickup truck segment.
In spite of the clear sales momentum, Toyota Motor U.S. sales increased 9.8% from the year-ago month to 195,235 preventing Chrysler Group from reestablishing itself as the Number Three U.S. sales leader, and keeping GM, Ford and Chrysler relegated to the ‘Detroit Three’ title instead of the long time ‘Big Three’ moniker.
Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 33% in June to 17,000, the largest sales gain by percentage of any Jeep brand vehicle in the month. It was the Grand Cherokee’s best June sales in eight years. All Jeep brand vehicles in production recorded year-over-year sales gains in June for 45,000 vehicles in total.
Seven Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of June. The Jeep Wrangler (16,000), Jeep Compass (5,000), and Jeep Patriot (7,000) SUVs each recorded their best June sales ever. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan (12,000), Dodge Challenger (5,000), and Dodge Dart compact sedan (6,000) also had their best sales for the month of June. The Ram Cargo Van (1,300) had its best sales month since launch. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 39% (5,000), the best percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group vehicle in the month.
Chrysler Group finished the month with a 68-days’ supply of inventory (408,336 units). U.S. industry sales figures for June are now projected at an estimated and – unexpectedly high – 16 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).