People have been replacing cars and trucks they kept through the recession and the slow recovery. The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads today is a record 11.4 years.
Chrysler finished 2013 with a 9 percent sales increase, posting its best annual numbers in six years as the auto industry’s recovery hit full stride. The company said Friday that it sold just over 1.8 million cars and trucks last year, up from 1.65 million a year earlier, led by record global sales of Jeep brand vehicles. The strong numbers from Chrysler are a sign that automakers closed out 2013 on a good note. Industry analysts estimate sales rose around 8 percent last year, to roughly 15.6 million. That would be the best year since 2007, when automakers used big discounts to sell 16.1 million vehicles. But the hearty growth rate is expected to slow in 2014. Auto sales have risen by more than a million vehicles per year since 2009, when just 10.4 million cars and trucks sold. But some analysts expect growth to slow to as little as 400,000 this year, with total sales around 16 million. That should be good news for shoppers: automakers likely will offer deals to protect or increase market share. For December, most analysts are predicting that Americans bought around 1.4 million new cars and trucks, the fourth-best month of the year, as consumers took advantage of year-end closeouts, low interest rates and sweet lease deals.
Chrysler sales gained 6 percent last month, with truck sales rising 15 percent and car sales down 17 percent. December is normally a strong month for truck sales nationwide. Jeep brand sales, led by the new Cherokee small SUV, rose 34 percent for the month. Chrysler sold just over 15,000 Cherokees in its second full month on the market. Jeep sales rose 34 percent in December and 3 percent for the year. Final numbers aren’t in, but Chrysler says Jeep sales worldwide in 2013 will surpass the 2012 record of 701,626.
Chrysler sold just over 161,000 cars and trucks in December, up from about 152,000 a year ago. Chrysler’s Jeep brand finished 2013 up 3 percent with more than 490,000 sales for the year. Jeep sales worldwide set a new record. Industry analysts expect a total US sales gain of about 4 percent in December and an annual gain of around 8 percent. Chrysler’s sales rose 9 percent for the year. But the industry growth rate is expected to slow in 2014 to around 3 percent.
SUMMARY CHRYSLER GROUP
Chrysler Group said its December sales were up 6% to 161,007 for the best December since 2007, the gain coming on the strength of its Jeep and Ram brands.
It was the automaker’s 45th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
For all 2013, the maker hit 1,800,368, up 9% from 2012.
"A string of successful new product launches and updates has kept Chrysler Group on the upswing for nearly four years. The Jeep and Ram brands are leading …