Another month, another sorry milestone forGroup LLC.
The struggling auto maker delivered 931,402 vehicles in 2009, marking the first time since 1962, whenCorp. recorded 780,252 unit-sales, the pentastar company’s annual total has fallen below the 1 million-mark.
Chrysler boosted its 2009 light-vehicle sales total to 927,018 on the strength of December’s 86,109 deliveries. But the auto maker’s annual and monthly totals show year-over-year declines of 36% and 10.5%, respectively, according to Ward’s data.
The shortfalls underline a bleak year that saw Chrysler file for bankruptcy and emerge nearly five weeks later in a restructuring-induced partnership with Italy’sAuto SpA.
Just two Chrysler nameplates finish 2009 in positive sales territory – the Dodge Journey midsize cross/utility vehicle, up 14.3% compared with 2008, and the Dodge Challenger muscle coupe, up 48.4%.
However, their respective year-over-year comparisons correspond with 2008 selling seasons shortened by launch timing.
Jeep Wrangler full-year sales were nearly flat. Its 82,044 deliveries trailed 2008 by 3%.
Chrysler’s volume flagship Ram 1500 fullsize pickup accounted for 11,600 sales last month, increasing the line’s full-year total to 172,884 – a 28.1% decline from 2008.
While theOdyssey retained its title as best-selling minivan with 100,133 units delivered, Chrysler held on as overall leader in the segment it defined. Sales of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country were 90,666 and 84,558, respectively, but both totals represent declines approaching 30% compared with 2008.
Sales of the Chrysler 300 fullsize sedan, the model that turned car design on its ear when it launched in 2005, trailed 2008 by 38.1%, although it finished the year with a flurry. December’s 4,452 deliveries marked an 11.5% hike over like-2008, pushing the car’s 2009 total to 36,606.
Meanwhile, Chrysler announces a new round of incentives, which includes a 0% financing plan, valid through March 1. The auto maker also extends its no-charge all-wheel-drive campaign for customers who buy a 300 or its platform-mate Dodge Charger.