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Feb. sales: Chrysler up six percent

2005 Chrysler Firepower concept vehicle.

Winter weather locked much of the country in the grips of one of the most bitter cold seasons in recent memory. Deep snows and record cold spells depressed many economic indicators. However, in the automobile industry, the Chrysler-Fiat group managed to surge six percent in February. Three of the company brands posted year-over-year sales increases; the Ram Truck, Chrysler, and Jeep brands gained in February, 2015 compared with February, 2014. For the Chrysler lines, it continued a nearly six-year trend of positive gains. It was the best February sales month for Chrysler since 2007.

The February sales figures gave Chrysler a six percent increase over the comparable period on 2014. The year-over-year comparison is a bellwether of auto sales, and February is frequently a difficult period due to severe cold and snow conditions in much of the United States. The industry as a whole had an outstanding February, showing an overall comparable of eight percent. General Motors and Ford showed an increase of four percent and a decrease of two percent respectively. This comparison makes the Chrysler achievement all the more remarkable. Chrysler, Ram Truck, and Jeep each showed advances that led to the outstanding company-wide performance. The Jeep Brand led the way with a 21 percent increase year-over-year comparable. It was the best February sales month in its history.

The factors that contributed to the current robust showing by Chrysler-Fiat and the industry as a whole must include the improving U.S.economy. It is a sign of the strength of the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008 that figures shows high-water marks dating back to 2007. The price of gasoline has increased about $0.40 per gallon over the past six weeks; however, the U.S. average is nearly one dollar below the price on a year-over-year comparison. Lower gasoline prices are a positive factor in the surge in auto sales.

Analysts view February auto sales as a sign of the condition of the industry and a basis to forecast the scope of sales for the calendar year. February, 2015 was the first since 2007 in which industry-wide sales exceeded one million units. Some estimates for 2015 annual sales volume run as high as 17 million units. The current February sales volumes provide support for the optimistic estimates; the industry may be poised for a significant increase in the total numbers of units. Trucks and Sport-Utility Vehicles are a vital part of the expected high volume. Chrysler’s Ram brand performed well, and Jeep set records for many of its models. The Jeep brand had its best February sales ever, and the Jeep Patriot had its best month. If you want to check out the Patriot or any other cars, you should head to Chapman Chrysler Jeep.

Among the notable successes outside of the truck and SUV lines are Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 200. The Dodge Challenger showed an increase of forty-two percent that represented its best-ever February sales totals. The Chrysler 200 recorded a year-over-year increase of thirty-one percent, and this was the best-ever February sales result. These figures supported optimistic estimates for cars and truck sales in 2015, and this should continue into the future.

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