Chrysler Sales Stay Warm in a Cold Month for the Industry

Jeep Cherokee

Say what you will about the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but it’s proving to be a popular seller and a driving force behind Chrysler‘s (FIATY.PK) 8 percent monthly gain for January. The Jeep brand as a whole and Ram pickups led the company to its 46th consecutive monthly gain, Automotive News reports.

In total, Jeep volume rose by a factor of 38 percent, as the new Cherokee moved 10,505 units for the month. Ram was up 22 percent, moving more than 25,000 units.

Fiat — with its two vehicles available in the U.S. — put on growth of 29 percent year-on-year, and the Chrysler nameplate added 2 percent. However, Dodge slid 19 percent over January as the sole decline across the family of brands. Every Dodge vehicle reportedly chalked up double-digit year-over-year drops.

“The bad weather only seemed to affect our competitors’ stores as we had a great January,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group, said in a statement. By segment, cars dropped 21 percent, though light trucks surged 21 percent for the month.

Chrysler’s growth came amid concerns of lower volume due to unfavorable weather, which analysts and companies were worried would slow the pace of sales. Typically, January is one of the weakest sales periods of the year.

Around the industry. General Motors (NYSE:GM) saw a 12 percent dip in sales, while Ford‘s (NYSE:F) volume fell by 8 percent, making Chrysler a standout performer in a challenging month. The Cherokee, which replaced the Jeep Liberty, sold fivefold what the Liberty sold in the same month of last year.

Chrysler said that it is anticipating U.S. industry auto sales to fall at 15.6 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

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