Group LLC adds two nameplates to the industry’s 100,000-unit sales club, both of which are minivans, returning the auto maker to dominance in the segment it established.
TheTown & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan ranked second and third, respectively, as the pentastar company’s highest-volume products with full-year deliveries of 112,745 and 103,323, according to Ward’s data.
Neither nameplate accumulated more than 91,000 units in 2009, a year that saw Chrysler deliver fewer than 1 million units for the first time since 1962.
The Ram fullsize pickup, with a tally of 194,175, was Chrysler’s best-selling vehicle in 2010. December sales of 99,893 cars and light-trucks, a 20.1% jump over like-2009, pushed Chrysler’s 2010 total to 1.08 million, 16.5% higher than prior-year, according to Ward’s.
“We are extremely proud of the sales strides we made during this transition year,” says Fred Diaz, president and CEO-Ram truck brand and lead U.S. sales executive.
The transition Chrysler saw was 2010’s rollout of 16 all-new or “significantly improved” vehicles. Among them the Jeep Grand Cherokee midsize SUV, the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan and its platform-mate, the Chrysler 200, successor to the Chrysler Sebring.
Chrysler’s minivans were in a dogfight much of the year with the new-for-’11Odyssey, segment sales leader in the U.S. since 2008.
Its popularity was a sore point with Chrysler insiders because the auto maker redefined people-movers following the 1983 rollouts of its minivan lineup, now in its fifth generation. AmericanMotor Co. Inc. delivered 108,182 Odysseys in 2010.
Other bright spots were the Dodge Challenger muscle car, which recorded a 36.2% jump in December, boosting full-year sales to 36,791 – 42.3% ahead of 2009.
Total Chrysler Group car deliveries tumbled 44.6% last month, compared with prior-year, according to Ward’s. But the decline was more than offset by previous monthly performances, pushing up the auto maker’s full-year car delivery tally to 284,286 units for a 24.3% gain on 2009.
No Chrysler brand was in negative sales territory for full-year sales.
The Jeep Wrangler flirted with 100,000 deliveries, finishing 2010 with 94,310, a 15% increase from 2009.