November sales: Chrysler reports strongest growth image

Among the US Detroit Three, The Chrysler Group reported the strongest results with a 16% increase from the same period last year, beating the 11% Wall Street estimate.

The auto maker sold 142, 275 vehicles. The company calls this its best November since 2007 and its 44th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. As of the end of November, Chrysler had a 91-day inventory supply with 500,536 units.

Dave Winslow, chief digital strategist for Dealer.com a digital marketing company that works closely with U.S. auto industry, points out that inventory is higher than is usually desirable. “During peak times in past years inventory could get as low as 3o to 60 days, so 90 is definitely up there.”

While typically there are concerns about sitting on aging inventory as competitors release new product, he says that the industry isn’t too concerned with the current situation. Dealers are stocking up since the product is strong and borrowing costs are low.

Four of the automaker’s five brands reported year-over-year sales growth. The biggest gain came from Jeep, which was up 30% with 45,415 vehicles sold. The success for Jeep came in part thanks to the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which sold 10,169 units in the first full month of sales.

The Jeep Wrangler and Patriot reported their best November sales ever, and the Grand Cherokee had its best November in a decade. As a result Jeep overtook Dodge as Chrysler’s’ best selling brand. Dodge sales were up 4% from 2012 with 41,506 units sold.

The company’s Chrysler Town & Country family van was up a hefty 70%. Fiat 500 sales tumbled with the base model off 41%. A new, larger 500L failed to attract enough buyers to compensate.

Ram truck sales soared 25% mainly on a 22% jump by the Ram pickup, to 29,635. New commercial vans not in the lineup a year ago added the rest.