April 17, 2014

Chrysler Reports Sales Surge In June 2011

Chrysler Group LLC Reports June 2011 U.S. Sales Increased 30 Percent; Best June Sales Since 2007. Highlights include:

– Retail sales surge 46 percent in June compared with same month a year ago; best retail sales month of the year

– June marks the 15th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

– Jeep®, Dodge and Ram Truck brands all post year-over-year sales gains

– New 2011 Chrysler 200 sales up 82 percent compared with sales of its predecessor a year ago; retail sales of the Chrysler 200 increase more than five fold

– All Jeep brand models post at least double-digit sales gains in June led by the new 2011 Jeep Compass, whose sales were up 278 percent versus a year ago

– All-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee posts 208 percent year-over-year sales increase

– Ram Truck brand posts a 34 percent increase versus a year ago, the brand’s 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains

– All-new 2011 Dodge Durango three-row SUV sales increase 34 percent compared with sales in the previous month of May 2011

– 2012 Fiat 500 named Coolest New Car Under $18,000 by Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com

– Chrysler brand’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial “Born of Fire” takes home five awards at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity

– 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan and the 2011 Dodge Challenger muscle car rank highest in minivan and mid-size sporty car segments in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM

– 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Durango make AAA’s Top Vehicle Picks for Road Trips

July 1, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 120,394, a 30 percent increase compared with sales in June 2010 (92,482 units), and the best June sales since 2007.

All Jeep® and Ram Truck brand models contributed to the 30 percent June sales increase, including the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which posted a 208 percent sales increase, and the 2011 Ram pickup truck with a 35 percent sales gain.

Chrysler Group’s new fuel-efficient models also played a significant role in the June sales increase, including the new 2011 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, the new 2011 Jeep Compass compact SUV, and the new 2012 Fiat 500 city car.

“Thanks to our alliance with Fiat, we now have 12 models that have EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon or higher, and four of those models get 30 mpg or more,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “This business is all about product and consumers are rapidly discovering everything we now have. Each Chrysler Group brand is contributing to our success and driving our 46 percent retail sales growth.”

Eight of the 12 models are equipped with Chrysler Group’s newest engine, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, recognized by the editors of Ward’s AutoWorld magazine as one of the “Ten Best” for 2011. With its exceptional fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced power, the new Pentastar V-6 is expected to account for more than one-third of the engines in the Chrysler Group product line-up by 2014 and will substantially contribute to achieving an overall corporate fuel efficiency improvement of 25 percent.

The Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in June. The Jeep brand’s 74 percent increase was the largest of the Chrysler Group brands. Both Chrysler Group’s car and truck sales posted sales gains in June compared with the same month a year ago.

First half 2011 Chrysler Group sales increased 21 percent versus the first half of 2010.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 68-day supply of inventory (314,065) units. U.S. industry sales figures for June are projected at an estimated 11.8 SAAR.

June 2011 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

Jeep® Brand

The Jeep brand continues to roll, posting a 74 percent sales increase in June, the brand’s best sales volume month since March 2008 and its 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. All five Jeep brand models posted a sales increase compared with the same month a year ago. The iconic Jeep Wrangler was the best-selling Jeep model in June with sales of 11,290 units, a 27 percent increase. The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee posted a 208 percent sales increase in June versus the same month in 2010. The new Jeep Compass compact SUV, with a 278 percent sales increase, posted the largest year-over-year percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group model.

Ram Truck Brand

The Ram Truck brand posted a 34 percent sales increase in June, the brand’s 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Ram pickup truck sales were up 35 percent, compared with the same month in 2010. Both the Light Duty and Heavy Duty pickup trucks, along with the Chassis Cab, saw year-over-year sales gains.

In last month’s J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Studysm (IQS), five Chrysler Group vehicles ranked third or better in their segments for initial quality, including the Dakota pickup truck in the mid-size pickup segment.

The Ram Truck brand launched its new national advertising campaign in June with the tagline – “Guts. Glory. Ram.” – focusing on the proven capability and superiority of the entire product line. The new advertising campaign encompasses broadcast, print, digital and customer relationship initiatives. The new tagline pays homage to the history of the Ram Truck brand and represents the hard work and dedication placed in the design, engineering and production of each and every Ram truck.

Dodge Brand

The Dodge brand, which offers six vehicles that deliver 25 mpg on the highway while retaining Dodge innovation and style, posted a 17 percent sales increase in June, compared with the same month in 2010. The all-new Dodge Durango three-row SUV had its best sales month since appearing in dealership showrooms in late 2010. Durango sales (5,827 units) increased 34 percent versus the previous month of May 2011. The Dodge Grand Caravan, the brand’s volume leader in June with 10,822 units sold, posted a 25 percent sales increase, while sales of the Dodge Challenger muscle car were up 10 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Dodge Journey crossover were up 17 percent in June.

In June, the Challenger ranked highest in the midsize sporty car segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Studysm. Two other Dodge brand vehicles were highlighted by J.D. Power and Associates for ranking among the top three vehicles of their competitive class: Durango in the mid-size crossover/SUV category (tie) and Grand Caravan in the minivan category.

Chrysler Brand

Sales of the new 2011 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, star of the Chrysler brand’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial “Born of Fire,” increased 82 percent in June compared with sales a year ago by the model’s previous generation. The Chrysler brand’s Super Bowl commercial was honored in June with five awards at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France. Cannes Lions is the world’s leading celebration of creativity in communications where over 24,000 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged.

In June, the Chrysler Town & Country ranked highest in initial quality in the minivan segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Initial Quality Studysm. IQS measures new vehicle quality at 90 days of ownership. Sales of the Town & Country were up 3 percent compared with the previous month of May 2011. For 2011, every Chrysler brand vehicle is new or significantly refreshed.

June 2011 U.S. Sales Highlights

– Jeep brand sales (36,114 units) increased 74 percent compared with the same month last year (20,731 units)

– Sales of the new 2011 Jeep Compass (4,763 units) were up 278 percent versus June 2010 (1,259 units)

– Jeep Grand Cherokee sales (8,969 units) improved 208 percent compared with June last year (2,912 units)

– Jeep Wrangler sales (11,290 units) increased 27 percent versus June 2010 (8,923 units)

– Jeep Liberty sales (5,252 units) increased 36 percent compared with June last year (3,865 units)

– Jeep Patriot (5,840 units) posted an 77 percent year-over-year sales increase

– Ram Truck brand sales (22,547 units) increased 34 percent compared with the same month last year (16,862 units)

– Ram pickup truck sales (21,362 units) improved 35 percent versus June 2010 (15,864 units)

– Dodge brand sales (43,401 units) were up 17 percent in June compared with June a year ago (36,996 units)

– Dodge Durango sales (5,827 units) increased 34 percent versus the previous month of May 2011

– Dodge Challenger sales (3,384 units) were up 10 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago (3,086 units)

– Dodge Grand Caravan sales (10,822 units) increased 25 percent versus June 2010 (8,658 units)

– Dodge Nitro sales (1,994 units) increased 25 percent compared with June 2010 (1,591 units)

– Sales of the new 2011 Chrysler 200 (7,219 units) were up 82 percent versus sales of the model’s previous generation (3,978 units) in June a year ago

– Fiat 500 sales (1,803 units) were up 3 percent compared with sales during the previous month of May 2011

– Chrysler Group truck sales (88,735 units) improved 42 percent versus June 2010 (62,417 units)

– Chrysler Group car sales (31,659 units) improved 5 percent versus June 2010 (30,065 units)

GM Boosts June Auto Sales

General Motors dealers in the United States reported 215,358 total sales in June, an 11-percent gain compared to June 2010. The gain was the result of continued solid retail demand for the company’s wide selection of fuel-efficient vehicles. Retail sales for GM’s brands rose 16 percent for the month, compared to a year ago, and were 4 percent higher than May.

For the month, Chevrolet Cruze had retail sales 153 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced, and total sales above 20,000 for the third straight month. The 32 MPG highway-rated GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox compact crossovers saw a combined retail sales increase of 78 percent during the month. Passenger car and crossover retail sales also rose substantially, up 33 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Total sales for GM’s full-size pickups – Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche, and GMC Sierra, rose 15 percent compared to May, while retail sales increased 20 percent from last month.

“With continued strong consumer demand for GM’s fuel-efficient vehicles, June was another solid month for us,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “The month caps a successful first half of 2011 for us in the U.S. market – our sales are up and we’ve gained share profitably.”

In the first half of 2011, GM dealers in the United States have reported 1,261,633 vehicles sold – a 192,056 unit increase over the first half of 2010 – leading to total and retail market share gains.

Compared to last year, June fleet sales decreased 1 percent due to a planned decline in sales to rental accounts. Sales to commercial accounts rose 31 percent – the 15th consecutive month of commercial sales gains. Fleet deliveries accounted for 27 percent of GM’s total sales for the month.

Passenger Cars

Total sales of GM passenger cars increased 28 percent during June, compared to a year ago. Retail sales for cars rose 33 percent for the month on the continuing strength of the Cruze, which was up 153 percent compared to the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced. The Cruze Eco, which delivers an estimated 42 miles-per-gallon highway, accounted for 17 percent of the model’s sales during the month.

The all-new Buick Regal continued to appeal to new consumers, recording 3,497 retail sales. For the month, approximately 30 percent of Regal sales were turbo models. Cadillac CTS retail sales rose 16 percent, spurred by continued strong demand for the all-new CTS Coupe.

Year-to-date through June, retail sales for GM’s passenger cars rose 43 percent.

Crossovers

Total crossover sales declined 2 percent, due to a planned reduction in sales to fleets, while retail sales were up 24 percent compared to last June. Retail sales of Equinox and Terrain were up 79 percent and 75 percent respectively.

For the first half of 2011, retail sales of GM’s crossovers were up 26 percent.

Pickups

Total combined sales of Silverado and Avalanche, and Sierra increased 5 percent, with retail sales down 2 percent versus a year ago. Total sales of Chevrolet Silverado HD rose 23 percent year-over-year, while GMC Sierra HD sales improved 39 percent. Total sales for both the Silverado and Sierra were the best of any month in 2011.

For the year to date, retail sales for GM’s full-size pickups are up 12 percent, while total sales of 259,101 units represent a 12-percent increase compared to the first six months of 2010.

Month-end dealer inventory in the United States stood at about 605,000 units, up about 21,000 units compared to May and about 168,000 units higher than June 2010.

Brand Key Facts:

Chevrolet: Chevrolet dealers delivered 156,848 total vehicles in June, an 11-percent increase over June 2010. Retail sales for Chevrolet were up 16 percent, for the tenth straight month of retail sales increases for the brand. Cruze retail sales were 153 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt. Equinox retail sales rose 79 percent. For the third straight month, sales of passenger cars were higher than trucks and crossovers for the brand – something that hasn’t happened since 1991. Through the first half of 2011, Chevrolet sold 904,548 total vehicles – up 122,105 units, or 16 percent.

Buick: Buick reported 14,868 total sales, a 13-percent increase compared to last year. This includes a 19-percent increase in year-over-year retail sales, led by demand for the all-new Regal and Regal Turbo, which accounted for approximately 30 percent of June sales. June was the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales gains for the brand. Year-to-date Buick total sales of 93,599 are 34 percent higher than the first six months of 2010.

GMC: GMC reported total sales of 32,782, a 15-percent increase compared to the same month last year. Retail sales rose 18 percent for the brand on strong demand for the Terrain (up 75 percent) and the Acadia (up 23 percent). Sierra retail sales rose 6 percent and marked the best year of 2011 for the pickup truck. June also marked the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales increases for the brand. Through June, GMC total sales are up 23 percent to 187,364.

Cadillac: Cadillac reported total sales of 10,860 for June, an 8-percent decrease versus last June due to planned reductions in sales to rental accounts. For the month, retail sales increased 5 percent. June was the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year retail sales gains. CTS retail sales continued to be brisk – up 16 percent – driven by the popular CTS Coupe. For the year-to-date, Cadillac total sales are up 18 percent to 76,122.

Fleet sales for GM’s four brands were 58,661 for the month, a 1-percent decline for the month, compared to last year’s June – driven by a planned 4 percent decrease in sales to rental accounts. Sales to commercial customers increased 31 percent – the 15th consecutive month of commercial fleet sales gains. Fleet accounted for 27 percent of GM total sales during the month – lower than the 31 percent fleet mix in June 2010.

Honda Forecasts a Lean Summer in Auto Sales

Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) has sent a memo warning dealers across the country it expects sales to drop nearly 40 percent this summer. While the sales have seemed to recover a bit from a dismal May, the company is still months away from normalized sales and production.

Honda expects to sell just 142,500 cars and light trucks during July and August, down from 221,166 for the same months last year. The memo, reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, seems to show bleak news in the short term. The Wall Street Journal reported that Honda’s memo warned that “It won’t be easy” to achieve even that reduced sales goal, and that inventory will be a challenge during the summer months. The company sold almost 91,000 units in May of 2011.

Ford Auto Sales Up 14% In June

Ford’s June sales totaled 194,114, up 14 percent versus a year ago. Cars and utilities posted the largest gains, while trucks also posted increases, rebounding from May.

“Strong demand for Ford’s fuel-efficient cars and crossovers continues, and we now are seeing truck buyers return to the market with significant appetite for our fuel-efficient V6 engines,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

Cars

Ford’s two all-new small cars combined for 26,920 sales in June, up 66 percent versus a year ago. Fiesta sales were 5,535, and Focus sales were 21,385, up 41 percent versus a year ago. The Fiesta and Focus are the fastest-turning models in Ford dealer showrooms.

“The Fiesta and Focus are driving Ford’s retail share gains in markets beyond our traditional geographic areas of strength,” said Czubay. “In California, Ford’s retail share is the highest since 2006. We also have seen gains in the East and Southeast.”

In June, Ford brand retail sales were up 36 percent in California.

The Fiesta and Focus recently were named to Kelley Blue Book’s 2011 Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.

The Ford Fusion midsize car now has posted six straight monthly sales records. In June, Fusion sales totaled 20,808, up 13 percent versus a year ago. In the first six months of 2011, Fusion sales were 131,686, up 18 percent from the first-half record set last year.

Lincoln sales were up 17 percent compared with a year ago, paced by higher sales for the Lincoln MKZ (up 31 percent) and Lincoln MKS (up 18 percent) sedans, as well as the Lincoln MKX crossover (up 36 percent).

Utilities

Explorer sales totaled 10,422, up 56 percent versus a year ago. Retail sales for the new Explorer were up 259 percent. In the first six months of 2011, Explorer sales totaled 65,823, surpassing last year’s full-year sales total of 60,687. Explorer has class-leading highway fuel economy of 25 mpg.

Escape sales totaled 22,274, up 43 percent. Year-to-date, Escape sales totaled 122,607, up 24 percent from the first-half record set last year. Edge sales totaled 9,663, up 18 percent. Ford is the top-selling brand of utilities in the U.S., with first-half sales totaling 280,875, up 25 percent versus a year ago.

Trucks

Ford truck sales increased across the lineup in June, with F-Series (up 7 percent), Ranger (up 18 percent), Transit Connect (up 40 percent) and Econoline (up 4 percent). Transit Connect sales were 2,992 – the second highest sales month ever.

Ford’s F-Series truck remained the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. with June sales of 49,618. In the first six months of 2011, F-Series sales totaled 264,079 (up 10 percent). Sales of the F-150 with new V6 engines continued to outsell V8s in June – and V6 engines accounted for 56 percent of F-150 retail sales. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine accounted for 41 percent of F-150 sales, and the 3.7-liter V6 accounted for 15 percent.

Sales Summary

In June, total sales were 194,114, up 14 percent versus a year ago. Retail sales were up 13 percent and fleet sales were up 14 percent.

Year-to-date, total sales are 1.07 million, up 12 percent. Retail sales were up 14 percent and fleet sales were up 9 percent.

“From Fiesta to F-Series, our new vehicles are resonating with customers. All of us at Ford remain absolutely committed to a full lineup of cars, utilities and trucks with the highest quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value,” said Czubay.

Nissan Leaf U.S. Production May Be Delayed

People have been waiting months for the Nissan Leaf to reach their driveway, and the waiting list grows with each passing day. Unfortunately consumers may be waiting longer than they once thought as Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. hinted today that the company may not hit its target of launching U.S. production of the Leaf electric vehicle in December, 2012. The company attributes the potential delay to March earthquake and tsunami.

Statements from the company –

“Because of the earthquake, we in a very difficult situation

“We’re (still) assessing the impact of the earthquake”

and

“We’re not giving up yet,”

Certainly Nissan will be updating the status as the year progresses.

Chrysler Announces Pricing for Bonds – Intends to Refinance Government Debt

Chrysler Group announced on Friday the long awaited pricing on the Bonds the company plans to issue so that they can refinance government debt. The Bond offering, broken in to two separate issues, totals $3.3 billion. The company plans to sell $1.5 billion in bonds at an 8% interest rate due 2019 and another $1.7 billion carrying 8.25% percent due 2021. Along with these Bonds Chrysler will also be able to access lines of credit worth a combined $4.3 billion.

Chrysler will also receive $1.27 billion from Fiat. The Fiat money will take them from a 30% stake in Chrysler to a 51% stake, making Fiat the majority owner of Chrysler. By repaying the government loans and refinancing them long term, the auto maker can slash interest payments in a dramatic fashion. The company estimates that by paying less interest they will be able to announce quarterly profits instead of lasses.

Getting to profits is an essential part of Chrysler’s plans to go public. The company had indicated that the possibility of going public may happen this fall, but more recent statements make 2012 a more likely situation.

Chevy Plans Increase on Volt Production – Anticipates High Demand

General Motors announced that they will be increasing production of their Chevy Volt this summer. The production increases will be made possible when they close their plant for 4 weeks to retool. The plant shut down will begin in June, allowing for an accelerated rate of production once it reopens in July.

“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”

The 2011 Volt was launched in California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Volt will be available nationwide and in Europe, China and Canada by the end of this year. The car starts at just over $32,000 and is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit established by the government for electric vehicles.

GM announced that as a result of their plant upgrades production capacity in 2011 will increase to 16,000 units. In 2012, global production capacity is expected to be 60,000 vehicles with an estimated 45,000 to be delivered in the United States.

The Volt is an electric vehicle that offers a total driving range of 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full change.

Chrysler To Shift Plant Shut Downs From July To June

While the disaster in Japan has impacted nearly every auto maker to some degree, certain makers have been more immune to the aftermath than others. Despite a perception that U.S. makers are insulated from the impacts, the fact is that nearly every car made has at least some components sourced from Japan. In an effort to minimize the impacts to themselves, Chrysler has shifted the summer shutdown of three U.S. plants from July to June.

The length of the shut downs will remain the same, but the move allows parts suppliers a few additional weeks to get their production back up to meet demand. The truck plant in Warren, Michigan and assembly plants in Toledo, Ohio and Toledo Supplier Park will all be impacted by the new schedule. The Warren and Toledo plants will be idled for the weeks of June 20th and 27th instead of July 11th and 18th while Toledo Supplier Park plant will be closed for the week of June 20th instead of July 11th.

The models involved include the Ram 1500 and Dakota pickup trucks, the Jeep Liberty and Wrangler, as well as the Dodge Nitro.

May Auto Sales Expected To Be Weak – Analysts Still See 13 Million Cars Sold in 2011

We have seen 2011 as a recovery year for the automotive industry, and with Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rates (SAAR) over 13 million, it has seemed to come to fruition so far. However, early indications for May sales seem to be low enough to raise a few eyebrows. J.D. Power recently issued a report that estimates May’s auto sales could carry a SAAR as low as 11.9 million, a stark drop from the 13.2 million we saw just last month.

J.D. Power attributes the slowing pace in auto sales to high gasoline prices ($1.10 per gallon higher than just one year ago), lower sales incentives, and thinner inventories due to the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and auto parts supplier problems. The company also estimates that North American production could be cut by about 400,000 vehicles in the short term.

On the positive side, J.D. Power maintained its full-year outlook for U.S. auto sales at 13 million vehicles, indicating a second half of the year recovery from anticipated slow May auto sales numbers. Most industry analysts are in the 13 million neighborhood for 2011 auto sales.

JD Power

Analyst Expects 2011 Auto Sales To Reach 13.2 Million Units

In their 15th annual Automotive Study, A.T. Kearney indicates that U.S. auto sales will likely come in at 13.2 million in 2011 and trend to 16 million by 2013. The study highlights pent up demand of 32 million units (new and used) and a 15 million post-recession “newly sub-prime” group which could be a $3.2 billion opportunity for automakers who begin to better understand the buyers with lower FICO scores.

“Behind the forecast, four key macroeconomic factors were measured. Economic recovery scenarios were developed to project the possible outcomes, the variables being: 1) overall economic growth; 2) credit availability; 3) consumer prices; and 4) consumer confidence. Pent-up demand and whether the recent downturn will resemble prior recessions adds additional factors, as does vehicle age and the need to replace older cars, the current average age being 10.4 years. The forecast’s wild card is Japan, where in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, parts shortages will impact 2011 U.S. new vehicle sales by 200,000 units. Dan Cheng, partner and leader of A.T. Kearney’s Automotive Practice, notes, “Given what we know about production downtime, in 2011 we see 328,000 U.S. customers of the affected brands up for grabs, and more if the time to wait for a particular brand begins to extend.”

The study also considers the renewed interest in fuel economy and the fact that newer cars, even bigger ones, are getting substantially better fuel economy than the existing fleet on the roadways today.

A.T. Kearny Report

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