Chrysler 2009 February Sales

A decrease of 26 percent.
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March 3, 2009.
Chrysler LLC today reported February U.S. retail sales of 66,658 units, a 26 percent decrease versus 2008; while the total retail industry was down a projected 35 percent. Chrysler retail industry market share increased to 11.0 percent versus prior 9.6 percent in February 2008 or an improvement of 1.4 percentage points. Total February 2009 U.S. sales include a fleet reduction of 71 percent year-over-year for the same period, furthering Chrysler’s focus on emphasizing retail over fleet.

“We see our retail number as a shining light of positive news,” said Jim Press President and Vice Chairman – Chrysler LLC. “By working together with our strong dealer body, we will continue to move the needle on sales and service. Additionally, our focus on quality is evident in the 2009 Dodge Ram, which continues to demonstrate our ability to improve the quality of our products. Recently reported data is not representative of the positive progress Chrysler has made over the last year. In the last 12 months, our corporate warranty claim rates are down over 30 percent.”

Press added that even though Chrysler is seeing a firming of retail demand, the overall economy is still being influenced by the lack of available credit for consumers. “The Chrysler Financial TARP fund loan of $1.5 billion has started to provide positive traction in the marketplace,” he said.

“During this important historical time, we are making strong progress as we move forward with our stakeholders to continue the restructuring of our Company,” said Press. “We have a special bond with the American people now and pledge to continue our efforts to deliver the best quality, better fuel efficiency and the best value in the marketplace.”

February Sales Highlights.
• Chrysler LLC retail sales (excluding fleet) increased 26 percent over January, while retail industry was up 17 percent
• Chrysler ranked second in retail among the Detroit three
• With best-in-class fuel economy, sales of Dodge Journey continued to grow as sales reached 4,615 units
• Sales of the Dodge Challenger (3,283 units) continue to accelerate, and set a new monthly record
• Rock-solid Jeep® Wrangler sales increased 28 percent (9,088 units) compared to February 2008

“The availability of consumer credit from Chrysler Financial along with a consistent promotional message and advertising share of voice influenced the improvement in our February retail sales,” said Steven Landry, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Service and Parts. “Overall our retail sales position in February can be attributed to an increase in awareness of our Employee Pricing Plus Plus program. It truly gives our dealers a message that resonates with consumers. We will continue this program in March. In addition, March is Dodge truck month, and we will add the availability of “no charge HEMI®” on the Ram 1500.”

March Incentives.
In March, Chrysler LLC begins Dodge truck month by delivering the award-winning 5.7-liter HEMI engine at no charge on the Dodge Ram 1500. The “no charge HEMI” option is worth up to $1,200 to customers, and is available in conjunction with the Employee Pricing Plus Plus program for 2008 and 2009 model year vehicles.

Continuing through March 31, Chrysler LLC’s Employee Pricing Plus Plus program offers the employee price to all customers purchasing or leasing a new 2008 or 2009 Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle. In addition to the employee price, customers are eligible for cash discounts of up to $3,500 for 2009 model year vehicles and up to $6,000 on 2008 model year vehicles. Plus qualified customers can obtain zero percent financing for up to 36 months through Chrysler Financial.

Chrysler LLC’s total February U.S. sales were 84,050 units (including fleet), a decrease of 44 percent. As evidence of the Company's continuing support of its dealers, it has reduced floor planning costs and inventory, keeping inventory fresh for customers. The Company finished the month with 350,966 units representing a 100 day supply. With the lowest level of inventory of its domestic competitors, total inventory is down 20 percent compared with February 2008 when it totaled 436,399 units.

(source: Chrysler)

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