The company’s sales total was a little short of analysts’ estimates. Analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB) had projected sales at 200,000, and Edmunds had projected about 196,000 sales in May.
The better news for Chrysler is that its average transaction price rose by 3.8% year over year in May to $34,164. That is a jump of 0.9% month over month, the largest gain of any carmaker, according to KBB.
The company’s Jeep brand sold 79,652 units in May. Jeep has now set a sales record for 20 consecutive months. The company’s all-new Jeep Renegade sold 4,416 units, up 4.8% month over month. April was the model’s first full month of availability.
Ram pickup sales rose 8% in May to 39,952 units, after posting a 3% year-over-year sales increase in April. Last year, Ram sold 37,131 pickups in May. For the first five months of 2015, Ram pickup sales are up 5% to 179,384 units and total brand sales are up 9% to 194,868 units.
Year-over-year sales of the company’s Chrysler brand are up 32%, as sales of the new Chrysler 200 rose 537% year over year to 20,007 units, on top of a 348% year-over-year gain in April. Year to date, Chrysler 200 sales are up 133% and Chrysler brand sales are up 19%.
The turnaround in pickup sales is the best news that Chrysler could have received. It is probably the main reason that the average transaction price rose in May. Pickups had their best May sales in 11 years.
The company’s Dodge brand sales were down 22% year over year in May and are now down 17% for the year to date. The only bright spot for the brand came in sales of its Challenger, up 29% to 7,438 units. Sales of the venerable Caravan dropped 56% in May and are down 51% for the year.
Chrysler projected a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales in the United States from all manufacturers at 17.9 million units for 2015, sharply higher than last month’s projection of 17 million. The company ended the month with 69 days supply of inventory, down from 78 days of supply at the end of March.
Chrysler’s shares traded fractionally lower in Tuesday’s premarket session, having closed up 1.6% on Monday at $16.29. The current 52-week range is $8.54 to $17.08.
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