Tag Archive | "Chrysler Group"

Chrysler’s Profits Up 32% to $611 Million in Q3

DETROIT – Chrysler Group LLC’s net profits rose 32 percent to $611 million in the third quarter, the Auburn Hills company announced Wednesday, reported MLive.

That comes on top line growth of 18 percent to $20.7 billion for net revenues. The revenue growth was driven by higher vehicle shipments, in particular the all-new Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 models, the company said.

The company’s worldwide vehicle shipments in the quarter totaled 711,000 vehicles, a rise of 18 percent.

For the first nine months of 2014, Chrysler Group LLC reported adjusted net income of $1.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2013. Its net revenue in the period grew to $60.1 billion, compared with $50.9 billion in the first nine months of 2013.

Last week, Chrysler Group’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reported operating profit growth of 7 percent to $1.15 billion in the third quarter. FCA’s net revenue was up 14 percent to $29.5 billion in the period.

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Chrysler Group LLC Responds to NHTSA Recall Letter

Auburn Hills, Mich. – NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) issued a recall request letter proposing that Chrysler Group recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee in model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty in model years 2002 to 2007 (a total of approximately 2.7 million vehicles).

Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles, it contends, are safe and are not defective. In a statement, it noted that, it believes NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, but that it is committed to continue working with the agency to resolve the disagreement.

“The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast,” said Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. “The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.”

Chrysler Group’s position on this matter includes that the vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question.

To view Chrysler Group’s White Paper on NHTSA’s Recall Request, visit http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=14371.

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Detroit Three All Gain U.S. Market Share in Q1

Via Bloomberg News

Detroit – For the first time in two decades, General Motors Co. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC pulled off a sweep in the first three months of a year, with all three gaining U.S. market share in 2013’s first quarter.

The momentum likely built in April versus Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co., according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News. The average estimates of analysts are that the U.S. carmakers will post bigger sales gains than Toyota and Honda for this month.
“The renaissance in Detroit is real,” Mike Jackson, chief executive officer of AutoNation Inc. (AN), the biggest U.S. auto dealership group, said this month in a telephone interview. “They have fantastic new products, and they’re in a very good position to compete.”

Shoddy cars that U.S. automakers offered for three decades cost the loyalty of the 75 million-member baby boom generation. That’s changing thanks to across-the-board improvement in quality that has closed the gap on once-dominant Toyota, said George Magliano, senior principal economist for IHS Automotive.

“From now on, the window has been opened to everybody,” Magliano, who is based in New York, said by telephone. “The baby boomers used to walk in like zombies and buy the Toyota. They don’t do that anymore. They can buy a Korean car, they can buy a Volkswagen, and they certainly can buy a Detroit car.”

Rising Demand
U.S. light-vehicle sales probably climbed 11 percent in April to 1.31 million, the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, may have risen to 15.2 million, the average of 17 estimates, from 14.1 million a year earlier. That would keep the market on pace for its best year since 2007.

Ford, GM and Chrysler gained 0.7, 0.5 and 0.2 percentage points of market share during the first quarter, the first time all three have gained share in that period of a year since 1993, the height of the sport-utility vehicle boom, according to Automotive News Data Center, which conducted the analysis at the request of Bloomberg News.

The three Detroit automakers now control 45.6 of the U.S. market through March, up from a first-quarter low of 43.8 percent in 2009, according to the data center. In the first three months of 1993, during then-President Bill Clinton’s first term, they shared 74.3 percent of the market, according to Automotive News.

Painful Restructurings
U.S. automakers’ strides have been building in the past half decade after a painful downturn spurred restructurings that spared only Ford from bankruptcy. The three companies rid themselves of uncompetitive cost structures and plowed investments into cars that could hang with Japan’s giants.

Millions of recalls by Toyota in 2009 and 2010, Japan’s tsunami the next year and shaky rollouts of new product such as Honda’s Civic in 2011 opened the door for U.S. consumers to give Detroit another shot.

Ford, which made more money than it ever has in North America during the first quarter, probably led the three U.S. automakers with a 17 percent increase in U.S. sales this month, the average of 11 estimates. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s $2.4 billion pretax profit in its home region in the first three months of the year was powered by its industry- leading F-Series trucks and new Fusion sedan and Escape utility.

Widespread Gains
“All you have to do is look at the earnings numbers from Ford to see that they’re doing well,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates, an auto consulting firm in West Bloomfield, Michigan. “F-Series drives its profits, but they also can’t make enough of the Fusion and the Escape.”

The redesigned Lincoln MKZ sedan, which Ford is counting on to revive its luxury line, will set a monthly sales record and drive an increase of at least 10 percent for the brand, Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing and sales and Lincoln, said today on a conference call.

The gains being made by U.S. automakers are widespread. Ford’s Fusion, which ranked outside the ten best-selling models last year, has jumped to No. 6 this year through March. The 38 percent sales increase posted by Detroit-based GM’s Cadillac was the largest of any brand in the industry during that span, and Chrysler’s passenger car deliveries surged almost one third.

Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, probably extended its streak of year-over-year U.S. sales gains to 37 months by posting a 10 percent rise in April deliveries.

Chrysler Profit
Chrysler said yesterday that first quarter net income dropped 65 percent while reaffiriming its full-year forecast. CEO Sergio Marchionne said on a Jan. 30 earnings call that shipments in the quarter would be hurt by introductions of the Jeep Compass and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup as well as preparation for the new Jeep Cherokee, which caused production of the predecessor Liberty to end last year.
GM sales also may have increased 10 percent, the averages of 11 estimates.

Holding onto their market share gains won’t be easy. Concerns are building about Japanese automakers answering Detroit’s rebound by using the weakening yen to their advantage, either by cutting prices or putting more content into their cars without charging more for it.

The yen has weakened about 18 percent versus the U.S. dollar since Oct. 31, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advocated for its decline to aid his country’s economy. Morgan Stanley has estimated the currency boost will give Japanese automakers an advantage of about $1,500 per car, while U.S. carmakers have put the figure at $5,700 per vehicle.

Watching Yen
“We’re going to have to watch very closely what happens competitively as the Japanese competitors were able to benefit from the weak yen,” Bob Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, said last week during a conference call. “We are starting around the world, not just in North America, very selectively and very early, to see some signs. They’re taking advantage.”

So far this year, sizable U.S. sales increases have eluded most of the Japanese automakers even with the yen’s drop. Toyota, which is based in Toyota City, added 0.3 percentage points of U.S. market share through March, while Tokyo-based Honda’s share was little changed and Nissan lost 0.7 points, according to Autodata Corp.

Honda and Toyota sales may have risen 7.3 percent and 3.1 percent in April, respectively, the average estimate of eight analysts. Nissan probably will post the industry’s biggest increase, with a 26 percent surge, the average of eight estimates.

Camry’s Competition
Toyota’s plan is for its Camry sedan to remain the top- selling U.S. car for a 12th consecutive year, amid tougher competition from Ford’s Fusion and Honda’s Accord, U.S. Group Vice President Bill Fay said in an April 26 telephone interview. Camry deliveries slipped 4.3 percent in the first quarter.

“People see the new Fusion and like it and the Accord is doing well,” Fay said. “Our goal, in spite of better competition, is for Camry to stay No. 1.”

Volkswagen AG (VOW), based in Wolfsburg, Germany, may post a 3.3 percent gain in combined sales for its Volkswagen and Audi brands in April, the average of four estimates.

There are signs that Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) and Kia Motors Corp. (000270) are losing some of the gains they made in the U.S. during the past two decades because of production constraints and the Korean won strengthening relative to the Japanese yen. The two affiliates, which report sales separately, lost 0.2 and 0.6 percentage points of market share through the first three months, according to Autodata.

Hyundai and Kia’s struggles may have endured in April. Combined sales for the two companies probably slipped 2.4 percent, the average of seven estimates. The two companies are constrained by a lack of local production capacity and the yen’s 16 percent drop against the South Korean won since the end of October.

“We may see the Japanese automakers get more aggressive in terms of marketing and in terms of packaging more content into their vehicles and not raising prices,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst for auto researcher Edmunds.com, said by telephone. “That’s the Koreans’ game. That’s how they gained a foothold — the value proposition. That’s not in their favor now.”

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Chrysler Recalling 2013 Dodge Challenger, Advising Consumers Not to Drive

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group is recalling approximately 2,500 model-year 2013 Dodge Challengers now in customer hands to address a potential short-circuit. This condition could cause a wire harness to overheat and possibly lead to fire. Chrysler Group is aware of seven such incidents. None caused injury.

Affected owners are being contacted directly – by telephone and by mail. They are being advised to immediately refrain from driving their vehicles and to contact their dealers. Loaner vehicles will be provided, free of charge, until repairs are complete. Chrysler Group further advises affected owners not to park their vehicles in or near any structures.

Customers who are uncertain if they are affected should take the above precautions and inquire with their dealers.

This action affects only 2013 Dodge Challengers assembled with V-6 engines during an eight-week period ending Jan. 24, 2013. The total recall population is 4,459 vehicles, of which approximately 1,900 are in dealer hands.

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Chrysler Group LLC Selects MaximTrak as F&I Menu, Reporting and e-Contracting Provider for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck and Fiat Dealers

Wayne, Penn. – Chrysler Group LLC selected MaximTrak Technologies as its F&I Menu, Reporting and e-Contracting provider for its Mopar Vehicle Protection products.

MENUCONNECT, the cloud-based platform developed by MaximTrak for Chrysler Group LLC, enhances the presentation of value-added aftermarket options to consumers and drives increases in F&I product sales and customer satisfaction ratings for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck and Fiat dealers. In a recent study by Chrysler Group’s Mopar Vehicle Protection unit, Chrysler Group dealerships using MENUCONNECT realized a service contract penetration increase of 33 percent and dealer per vehicle retail gross profit growth of 27 percent.

“We are seeing increases in PVR and total product penetration, and no customers are coming back complaining we neglected to explain or offer something to them,” said F&I Manager Fred Barabani of Buckeye Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, Shelby, Ohio.

Standardizing the F&I product presentation, this structured menu keeps customers happier. “We’re shaving off minutes from every F&I presentation, and for our customers, those 10 or 15 minutes are significant,” Barabani said.

MENUCONNECT’s reporting application automates the management of the F&I department and provides dealerships with real-time sales and performance statistics. These reports help managers identify opportunities for improving productivity and profitability. MENUCONNECT’s fully automated, paperless workflow will greatly improve the efficiency of the selling process for Chrysler Group dealers. This feature provides access to real-time rates, menu presentation tools and electronic contract submissions. The solution integrates with the dealership’s dealer management system, so data is easily pulled into F&I presentation tools. MENUCONNECT’s e-Contracting platform eliminates paper and significantly streamlines the F&I process.

“Use of MENUCONNECT for F&I will also enable Chrysler Group dealerships to reduce contract errors, increase customer satisfaction index (CSI) scores and provide customers with complete legal disclosures to meet compliance requirements,” said Jim Maxim Jr., President of MaximTrak.

With MaximTrak’s MENUCONNECT, Chrysler Group dealerships will electronically register all F&I related contracts directly with Chrysler. The system will reduce errors in contracting, increase productivity, sales volume and greatly enhance the quality of time consumers spend in the F&I Office.

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Chrysler Posts Best Oct. Sales in Five Years

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC reported U.S. sales of 126,185 units, a 10 percent 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 percent 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.

“In spite of Hurricane Sandy, Chrysler Group posted its best October sales since 2007 and we achieved our 31st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand, and Head of U.S. Sales. “Last month we also further demonstrated our disciplined approach to sales growth by posting a Q3 2012 operating profit of $706 million, an increase of 46 percent over Q3 2011.”

Chrysler Group’s minivans each posted double-digit percentage sales increases in October. The Dodge Grand Caravan’s 49 percent sales gain represented the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model while sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 31 percent in October. The Ram 1500 pickup truck, Dodge Charger muscle car and Chrysler 300 flagship sedan all had sizeable sales gains during the month.

Chrysler Group finished the month with an 83-days supply of inventory (404,122 units). U.S. industry sales figures for October are projected at an estimated 14.7 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

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