U.S. Auto Sales: Chrysler sales up 37% in December; 2011 volume up 26% image

Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday reported U.S. sales of 138,019, a 37 percent increase compared with sales in December 2010 (100,702 units), the group’s best monthly sales since May 2008.

Chrysler was the first automaker to report sales on Wednesday.

The U.S. based automaker says it sold 1.37 million vehicles last year, about 284,000 more than in 2010. It has introduced 16 new or revamped models in the past two years.

“Chrysler Group finished a year of growth on a strong note,” Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales.
“Looking back, we were the fastest-growing automaker in the country, increasing our market share 1.3 percentage points during 2011.”

Sales for the Dodge brand advanced 28% while sales for the Jeep brand were up 41%. The namesake line’s sales increased 83%.

The Ram Truck brand posted a 10 percent sales increase in December compared with the same month in 2010, its best monthly sales since August 2008. Ram pickup truck sales increased 12 percent in December, the model’s best sales month since March 2008. Both Light Duty and Heavy Duty trucks contributed to the increase.

December had 27 selling days, the same as a year ago.

The rest of the automakers, including General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co , are also scheduled to report December U.S. sales on Wednesday.