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Chrysler SA sales records continue upward trend

MIDRAND: Chrysler South Africa recently reported monthly sales of 844 units for December 2012, producing a massive 41% increase compared with the 600 units sold in the same month of 2011.
With this number, and the constant sales increases achieved throughout 2012, Chrysler South Africa's sales for the year have reached an all-time record high of 10,052 units, an increase of 37% over the same month 2011, and 26% more than the previous record of 7,950 units achieved way back in 2003; record was already exceeded in October 2012. Year-on-year sales increased more than 40%.

Volume leaders for the year have been the Compass / Patriot range with 2,911 units, 122% over 2011, the Grand Cherokee with 2,427 units, 88% increase over 2011 and the Wrangler / Unlimited range with 1,689 units, a credible 10% increase over 2011. The Dodge Journey also set a new sales record with 857 units sold in 2012, a 101% increase over the previous year. Additionally, all of the above vehicle lines respectively achieved their highest South African sales volumes ever.

These sales gains were achieved despite difficult market surroundings and challenging supply conditions, and have elevated Chrysler South Africa into fourth place in the Chrysler International rankings behind China, the Middle East and Australia markets.

Best ever annual sales

Internationally, the Jeep brand recorded its best ever annual sales year in 2012. Globally over 701,000 vehicles were sold last year, compared to the previous record of 675,000 units established in 1999.

In addition, 20 markets, including South Africa, recorded their best annual sales and two of the models, Compass and Wrangler, recorded their best ever annual sales.

In China, the world's largest automotive market, Jeep remains the fastest growing mainstream brand and in the US, it has regained the number one spot in the SUV segment. During the economic crisis, the Jeep brand had fallen to 5th in the US and 8th worldwide.

This year will be one of consolidation for Chrysler South Africa and will continue to present challenges to the automotive industry as a whole. The Chrysler Group brands are expected to continue their upward trend, however.