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Chrysler Group Sales Decline 8% in January

Mildly positive trend predicted - share is expected to increase?

by on Feb.02, 2010

The best seller in the company, and that's part of the problem, over reliance on trucks.

Chrysler Group reported total U.S. sales for January of 57,143 units, a decrease of 8% when compared with the same period last year when it sold 62,157 units.

Inventory at 172,803 vehicles, is down 52% compared with January 2009 when the insolvent company had 359,980 units on hand. Chrysler says that at current selling rates, this represents a 73-day supply, which is roughly inline with usual industry practices.

Last year, the insolvent company forced vehicles on dealers in a desperate and ultimately failed attempt to stay afloat.

Overall, industry figures for January are projected to come in at an estimated 10.9 million units for the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate, which was heavily boosted in early returns by fleet sales in the 25% to 30% range of total sales at Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.

Chrysler does not break out fleet sales on a monthly basis, but a spokesperson told that fleet was “inline with industry trends” for January. For the 2010 calendar year, Chrysler says that it wants to maintain fleet sales at about 25% of total.

Chrysler is currently offering owners of Toyota Tundra, Tacoma and Sienna vehicles  an additional $1,000 trade-in cash bonus with the purchase or lease of any new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge car or Ram truck. In addition, $1,000 “bonus cash” is available to all Toyota returning lessees who purchase or lease a new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge car or Ram truck vehicle.

The company is also continuing  “Zero Percent Financing” for most 2010 model-year vehicles. The  “Invest in America” partnership with more than 90 million credit union members in the United States offers a member-preferred pricing program on all 2010 model year vehicles.

In January, ten Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles posted year-over-year sales gains, including Chrysler Sebring and Town & Country; Jeep Compass; Dodge Avenger, Journey and Caravan. The company is predicting a share increase when  final numbers are in.

However, all of the Ram trucks posted big declines. It might be too soon to say things have turned around.  Chart follows.   (more…)