Chrysler US Sales Up 5% in March Thanks to the Dodge Dart image

Chrysler reported US sales in March up 5% thanks to its competitive Dodge Dart compact.

Last month Chrysler’s sales increased to 171, 606 units from 163, 381 units in March 2012. The automaker managed to surpass the analysts’ forecast of 3% increase. Chrysler’s sales in the US market have increase for 36 months in a row, which is the longest stretch in the automaker’s history. The Dodge Dart compact competes with Ford’s Fusion and GM’s Chevrolet Sonic, all reporting gains in the small and mid-size segments.

“We’re at a point now where the cars coming out of Detroit are on par with the best the Japanese can offer and it’s led to a more competitive market,” said Alec Gutierrez, an analyst at researcher Kelley Blue Book.

Chrysler predicts a 15.6 million industry sales for March. The Dart, which sold 8,091 units in March, and the Chrysler 200, which reached an increase of 11% last month, boost the automaker’s deliveries, which currently prepares its factories for the redesigned Compass, Grand Cherokee and the all-new Cherokee.

“We’re seeing the Dart gain a little bit of traction,” said Kelley Blue Book’s Gutierrez said. “Last year, the story was all around Jeep and that brand keeping Chrysler’s story going along. There’s going to be a little bit of a lag in their product line on the Jeep side for now.”