In Chrysler's Strong Quarter, a Hedge for Fiat

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Little did sweater-clad Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne know when he bought a controlling stake in troubled number three U.S. car maker Chrysler that he was hedging an unknown bet that Fiat would fall into disrepair under the weight of a terrible European car market. Now, Marchionne appears to be a genius. Chrysler does not act like a third-tier car company. It has outpaced rivals General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) in terms of growth rates in the U.S. market most months.

Chrysler pulled out another improved month again in October.

Chrysler Group reported U.S. sales of 126,185 units, a 10% increase compared with sales in October 2011 (114,512 units), and the group's best October sales since 2007.

The Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in October compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat brand's 89% increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. October marked Chrysler Group's 31st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Fiat bragging meant little. Sales of the brand were a pathetic 3,720.

One unit of Chrysler did extraordinarily well. Dodge sales rose 20% during the month to 40,611. This masked to some extent Jeep sales that fell 5% to 34,023, and Chrysler brand sales, which were up only 5% to 22,222.

Now, all Marchionne can hope is the American car and light truck sales remain strong.

Douglas A. McIntyre


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos Tagged: F, GM
Read Full Story

Markets

S&P 500 2,191.95 0.87 0.04%
DJIA 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
NASDAQ 5,255.65 4.55 0.09%
DAX 10,513.35 -20.70 -0.20%
HANG SENG 22,564.82 -313.41 -1.37%
NIKKEI 225 18,426.08 -87.04 -0.47%
USD (per EUR) 1.06 0.00 -0.19%
USD (per CHF) 1.01 0.00 0.21%
JPY (per USD) 113.29 -0.17 -0.15%
GBP (per USD) 1.27 0.00 -0.18%

From Our Partners