It’s proving to be a topsy-turvy road for auto manufacturers in 2011, with mixed results across the board, and none as impressive as the performance being put up by Chrysler Group, LLC. The former member of Detroit’s big three is now controlled by Fiat SpA, but they’re putting up impressive sales figures.
While the parent Chrysler brand is up 28 percent, strong sales of Jeep models, including an all-time sales record for the Jeep Compass and strong demand for the completely redesigned Dodge Durango mean the other brands in the Chrysler stable also showed strong performance, and the whole is up by 27 percent over last year in October.
Fact of the matter is, Chrysler hasn’t had an October this good since 2007. And it has been a long four years that included seeing the company bankrupted and receiving federal assistance. And the increase in sales comes just as the company’s Jeep brand was named as the highest-ranked American automaker for reliability and quality by Consumer Reports readers.
Even though General Motors saw a slight uptick with a two percent rise, all of its brands except Chevrolet posted sales declines. Chevy’s six percent rise managed to carry the deadweight of Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
Ford Motor Company saw sales increase by more than six percent, but its rise, like that of GM, was generally considered a disappointment across the industry. Ford, GM and Chrysler workers have all recently approved new contracts with the United Auto Workers (UAW) and each company promised new assembly jobs with their contracts.
We’re still awaiting results from Toyota, although the consensus by most analysts pegs their sales falling by more than nine percent. Honda, which had boasted it would finally reverse its long-standing sales decline was down one-half of one percent, showing that troubles still exist for Japanese automakers.
Only Nissan, which saw it’s year over year sales improve by 18 percent, has proven effective among the Japanese automakers in demonstrating consistant increases in sales.