Sales up for Chrysler

Chrysler sales take off in June with Dodge leading the charge clocking a 67% increase with the Charger, Avenger and Challenger leading the way. The industry average was well below Chrysler’s jump in sales as things might be changing for this company. Looking back a year ago and then to today with a market that has still not rebounded strongly you have to give the folks at Chrysler/Fiat credit for fighting back. There are new products on the way and if the auto market in the U.S. can find it’s way in the months ahead Sergio Marchionne will have a lot of new friends in the Midwest!

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chrysler said today that U.S. sales jumped 35% compared with the same month a year ago, a gain led by its Jeep and Dodge brands.

Jeep sales rose 25%, on an 86% jump Jeep Wrangler sales. Dodge, newly minted as a car brand, saw its sales increase 67% on a spike in sales of the Charger, Avenger and Challenger.

Overall, sales of Chrysler’s passenger cars, an area where industry observers say Chrysler must improve, nearly doubled.

Chrysler’s minivans also performed well. Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country rose 34% and sales of the Dodge Caravan jumped nearly 50%.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Alfa Romeo Spider Design Study

Is the Alfa Romeo Spider part of the Fiat/Chrysler North American product offensive from Sergio Marchionne? Time will tell but as you can see here Alfa keeps tinkering with an already beautiful car and hopefully it will see this side of the Atlantic.

From Motorcrave.com:

I’m not sure that we’re quite ready for a new Alfa Romeo design study, after being bombarded with Alfa concepts like the Pininfarina 2uettottanta just months ago at the Geneva Motor Show. But the next generation of brilliant automotive designers must learn, so Alfa teamed up with a trio of designers from the Politecnico di Milano University to create this Spider design study. The designers are Alberto Gaiani, Massimo Paparella and Michela Zedda.

Read the full article here.

  

Fiat-based models to key Chrysler’s comeback?

I get the feeling that we won’t recognize the Chrysler brand cars in a few years. That’s a good thing, my friends, and maybe, just maybe, these Fiat-based models will be the engine that brings this company back in the black! With that being said, don’t go too far with the 300, as that is the Chrysler car that actually spurs opinions and emotion. I hear the possible 200C is gorgeous.

With that being said, Sergio has hinted that these new Chrysler rides could hit the ground in Q4 2011.

From AutoGuide.com:

Chrysler Group could bring several Fiat-based compact vehicles to the United States sooner than expected, CEO Sergio Marchionne said on a conference call today.

The vehicles could be on the market as early as the fourth quarter of 2011, based on design work that already has been completed, Marchionne said.

“We’ve run extensive clinics on the first vehicles. We’re 98 percent there on styling,” he said. “My expectation today is we’ll be able to get this car into the market Q4 2011. We continue to work pretty aggressively on timing.”

Read the full article here.

  

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.

  

Marchionne says Chrysler will be profitable by 2011

The buzz around Chrysler has been very negative, so it’s rather surprising to here CEO Sergio Marchionne express such confidence about the prospects for the company.

After a four-month deep dive into the workings of Chrysler Group LLC, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne remains convinced the automaker can be profitable in two years.

The Auburn Hills automaker is on track to divulge its five-year plan on Nov. 4, to make public its quarterly financial statements next year and to offer public stock as early as 2011, he said.

A recent report by analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley supports Marchionne’s forecast. Jonas said Chrysler could report an operating profit of $841 million in 2010, but end the year with a net loss of $169 million. Full profitability is expected in 2011: $2.48 billion in operating profit and $952 million in net income, Jonas said.

In an interview with Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Marchionne affirmed Thursday that the automaker could reach profitability in 24 months. Just a week before, the CEO contended that “we’re not bleeding as people think we are,” noting that “the level of cost consciousness at this house is probably at a historical high.”

Some had been speculating that Chrysler might not make it another year given its challenges in the market. Marchionne had fueled some of the negative speculation when he said in September that the situation at Chrysler was “worse than we thought.”

Marchionne has an incredible track record as a turnaround specialist, but Chrysler will present the ultimate challenge. The acquisition could be a stroke of genius, as Fiat paid nothing and now owns 20% of the company with full control in exchange for the contribution of small-car technology. Fiat dominates with small cars and this offer it the opportunity to return to America. They also have Alfa Romeo which presents an upscale brand.

That said, it was reported recently that there would be a new push to turn Chrysler into an upscale brand positioned a notch above Lincoln and Cadillac. As noted by many analysts, that seems like a real stretch. Chrysler is a mess, so now consumers are supposed to start paying a premium for their cars?

In any event, it’s refreshing to hear some optimism coming from Marchionne. Hopefully he can back it up.

  

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