PARIS – Chrysler Group says it plans to build as many as 90,000 units of its 300 Series this year to meet an ever-increasing demand for the vehicle.

The auto maker also will boost production of the Dodge Magnum R/T wagon, which has been an equal success.

During an interview at the auto show here, Chrysler’s head of marketing, Joe Eberhardt, says dealer orders for the 300 and Magnum continue to pile up.

The auto maker is receiving “three to four times” more sold orders for the vehicles than the company has seen in prior launches of other popular models. “The numbers that are coming in are significantly above our production plan,” Eberhardt says.

The success of the Magnum has been a pleasant surprise because so many inside the company worried consumers wouldn’t warm up to the new-generation wagon concept.

Eberhardt says the auto maker definitely underestimated demand, especially the Hemi-powered R/T model. “We have definitely seen an imbalance in Magnum inventories,” he says. “There’s literally no Hemis to be had.”

The Magnum particularly has caught on in one of the most trendy and influential markets, the western U.S. coastal states, including California.

“I think we have a six days’ supply of R/Ts on the West Coast,” Eberhardt says.

Chrysler now is looking at ways to boost output of the R/T model and send more units westward. For now, the company is focusing Magnum advertising on the V-6-powered SXT line.

Meanwhile, executives are studying ways to increase Hemi output, which currently is being produced at a rate of 480,000 units annually.

Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche tells Ward’s the auto maker has twice boosted Hemi production and will look at ways to raise output again, via throughput improvements or by adding new equipment. However, he declines to discuss the timing of another bump.

kekelly@primediabusiness.com