Chrysler's November sales rise 16 pct, top expectations


Dec 3 (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC said its U.S. vehiclesales in November jumped 16 percent from a year before, beatinganalysts' expectations.

Chrysler, an affiliate of Italy's Fiat SpA, saidTuesday that November sales were 142,275, partly on the strengthof its new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Analysts polled by ThomsonReuters had expected 135,189. Chrysler said it was the bestNovember since 2007, before the auto industry plunged into adeep recession.

Chrysler was the first of the Detroit automakers to reportNovember sales. General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co will report later in the day, as will foreign brands.

The introduction of the redesigned Cherokee at Chryslerhelped push Jeep brand sales to a record 45,415, up 30 percent.Fiat brand sales, however, dropped 15 percent to 3,075, despitethe launch of the new Fiat 500L.

Pickup trucks displayed continued appeal, propelling Rambrand sales to 31,255, up 25 percent. Dodge brand sales rose 4percent to 41,506, while Chrysler brand sales climbed 12 percentto 21,024.

Chrysler said it expects industry sales in November reachedan annual rate of 16.3 million, including about 300,000 medium-and heavy-duty trucks.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated theseasonally adjusted annual sales rate in November, not includingthe larger trucks, was 15.75 million.

Monthly sales are regarded as an early indicator of the U.S.economy's health. The industry has held up better than thebroader economy because of easier access to credit andconsumers' need to replace aging vehicles, which now averagemore than 11 years.

Analysts who closely follow the industry expected Novembersales rose from 3.6 percent to 6.8 percent as demand returned to"normal" after the 16-day government shutdown hurt Octoberresults.

GM and Ford were expected to show gains for November, markedby continued strong end-of-the-year demand for full-size pickuptrucks like the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150.

Industry research firm said average vehicletransaction prices fell slightly in November for the first timein three years as manufacturers continued to clear out suppliesof leftover 2013 models with generous incentives averaging morethan $2,500 per vehicle.

View Comments (2)