Chrysler makes a statement with May sales figures

Chrysler is rockin’ the sales charts with an increase of 10% in May, totally bucking the trend. Jeep sales are on fire and cars like the new 2011 Chrysler 200 are selling well.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Retail sales up 27 percent in May compared with same month a year ago

May marks the 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

New 2011 Chrysler 200 sales up 154 percent compared with sales of its predecessor a year ago; retail sales of the Chrysler 200 increase more than five fold

Chrysler brand named “Top Popular Brand” in 2011 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Jeep® brand sales up 55 percent compared with sales in May 2010

All current Jeep brand models post May sales increases, led by the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose sales were up 192 percent versus a year ago

Jeep Grand Cherokee wins “Premium Mid-size SUV” category in AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

New 2011 Jeep Compass posts 92 percent year-over-year sales increase, second highest percentage increase for Jeep brand models

New 2011 Dodge Journey crossover voted “Family Car of Texas” at the Texas Auto Writers Association “Spring Roundup”

Ram Truck brand posts a 13 percent increase versus a year ago, the brand’s 13th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

2012 Fiat 500 voted “Best Value” and “Best New Design” at the Texas Auto Writers Association “Spring Roundup”

Read the full article.


Chrysler reports $116-million 1Q profit

Chrysler is back in the black with a Q1 profit of over $100 million!

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chrysler said today it earned $116 million during the first three months of the year, giving the company its first profit since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, as well as details about its debt refinancing plans.

The profit compares to a $197-million loss for the same January-March period last year and represents a major milestone for a company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy almost two years ago.

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the results boosted the morale of the company’s management team when he announced them at an 8:30 a.m. internal meeting.

“I think it’s fair to say that the mood is one of pride and I guess comfort in knowing that we are executing according to the plan,” Marchionne said during a conference call with analysts and journalists. “I can’t even put a price on that kind of stuff … but success is incredibly temporary. The first quarter is done, but we have a lot of quarters to do.”

Read the full article.


Chrysler’s Comeback is Real!

Chrysler Corporation has been beat up the last decade in so many ways it’s almost wrong. The merger with Daimler did not go as planned for either company and then right before the economic tsunami hit, Chrysler is purchased by equity firm Cerberus. Most people outside of the auto industry had no idea who Cerberus was and they still don’t have any idea who they are today. Cerberus knew very little about running an automaker and it showed, so when they bailed on Chrysler and her employees it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Almost everyone knows that Chrysler went through bankruptcy in 2009 and were on the brink of extinction when an agreement to take over the company was reached with Fiat. Heck, they basically shut down all production in December 2008, which had many in the industry pondering whether Chrysler could ever recover! Fast forward to December 2010 and now things have turned around for the Pentastar.

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI - DECEMBER 6: Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne attends an event that celebrates the latest announcements about Chrysler products, jobs, and investments at the Chrysler Group Sterling Heights Assembly Plant on December 6, 2010 in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The Chrysler Group LLC announced the production launches of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, and an $850 million investment for all-new paint shop, machinery and handling equipment. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Chrysler is now run by Sergio Marchionne, who orchestrated a turnaround at Italian car maker Fiat and is now in the midst of doing the same with Chrysler but on a larger scale. We say “larger” because this turnaround will also include Fiat, as Mr. Marchionne is not finished his work in Turin either. There is new and consistent process and leadership with the Fiat World Class Manufacturing System working it’s way into all aspects of Chrysler’s facilities with a real focus on quality, which translates into “a new day has arrived.” On the design side, hopefully there are no more redesigns like the weak Sebring and no more allowing well-built and designed vehicles wither on the vine with shabby updates using cheap materials. Enter Fiat’s multi-air engines, which are reliable and fuel efficient. There’s reason for optimism in the halls of Chrysler. The culture is surely going through some changes at breakneck speed, but when you hear about what Italian export Mauro Pino is accomplishing at Chryslers Toledo, OH plants you can understand that real progress is taking place at all levels of the “New Chrysler”.

Chrysler sales in 2010 are up almost 20 percent from 2009 and with eleven all-new or seriously refreshed Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat vehicles to be launched during the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter of 2011, the march is on for a larger slice of the market. Also in the mix is the venerable Fiat 500, which will add some flair to the Chrysler/Fiat stable and don’t be surprised if that little 500 becomes a cult hit. Many thought the days were numbered for Chrysler and it wasn’t easy to change perceptions but in the auto world, many are taking notice of what Chrysler and all of her brands are building and selling.

The Dodge brand has seen sales steadily climb and has new product that could seriously put them on a roll with the gorgeous 2011 Dodge Durango, the stylish and tough-looking 2011 Dodge Charger, the sharp crossover 2011 Dodge Journey, the new 2011 Dodge Avenger, the upgraded 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, and the badass Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. We had a chance to drive some of these cars and were very impressed. The 2011 Dodge Charger is the flagship of the Dodge brand and appears to be ready to rock and roll in the sales department, with a re-design that looks awesome.

The big daddy of them all at Chrysler is the 300 and we’re going to have a bird’s eye view of the new machine at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 10th, 2011. Some of the photos that have been released show a very sleek 2011 Chrysler 300, with a grille that features seven horizontal liquid chrome blades and a new Chrysler wing badge and a stunning totally new interior that is garnering plenty of praise early on in the 300’s unveiling. Look for plenty of coverage of the Chrysler 300 on during the Detroit Auto Show in January 2011.

There is no longer just a bunch of folks crossing their fingers hoping that the U.S. Auto Industry can recover, but rather we are witnessing a real strengthening in sales with Chrysler/Fiat positioning themselves for a renaissance that is truly American and amazing! The competition is fierce and we know this firsthand, as we continue to drive, test and review many makes and models from top flight auto producers. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Chrysler/Fiat is building something for the long term and they have an edge right now that they can’t lose if they want to be stronger than they’ve been in decades.


Fiat to fill in the blanks for Chrysler

Chrysler Chairman Sergio Marchionne will lay out the companies five year plan Wednesday which will more than double Chrysler’s annual sales from 1.3 million last year to 2.8 million by 2013. The question is “will anyone believe him”? Plans can sound good but delivering is another matter. They way I see it is that everything really hinges on how well the North American market warms to Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo products.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chrysler’s chances of ending its sales decline and returning to profitability should become clearer Wednesday, when Fiat is to lay out a five-year business plan.

The strategy for the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands is expected to reveal new details about the vehicles Chrysler’s North American factories will build. Also expected are details of Alfa’s return to the U.S. market, plus future product lines for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and the new Ram commercial-vehicle brand.

Read the full article here.


Chrysler comeback closer than people think?

With all the talk about the lack of product for Chrysler and Dodge, the Detroit Free Press takes a harder look and some feel there is a lot more in the works than most give credit. In the next 12 to 18 months, look for a totally new experience when you enter a Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat showroom. The Chrysler comeback might be closer to reality than most of us could have imagined.

We feel the barometer will be how well the Fiat 500 performs when hitting the showroom floors later this year!

We all know Chrysler won’t reap the benefits of its alliance with Fiat until 2012, but that doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare. To the contrary.

This year, Chrysler plans to introduce three new vehicles that are acknowledged leaders in their segments and one new model that gets it into a growing and potentially lucrative new market.

The first Fiat model, the 500, will also arrive, giving Chrysler dealers a sophisticated and chic little car that’s smaller and considerably less expensive than the Mini Cooper.

Read the full article here.


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