DETROIT Feb 1 Chrysler Group LLC said January
car sales of 117,731 were the best since 2008 and projected
industry sales during the month grew at an annual rate of 15.5
All Chrysler brands except Jeep reported year-on-year sales
gains, with the Dodge brand up 37 percent from a year ago.
Jeep sales were down 4 percent, as Chrysler - controlled by
Fiat - phases out the Liberty model and prepares to
launch its successor later this year.
Total Chrysler sales rose 16 percent from 101,149 a year
Sales of the Fiat 500 jumped 31 percent to 2,503, while the
Dodge Dart hit 7,154, the highest level since the car's
introduction last June.
Chrysler is the first automaker to release January sales.
Its projected annual rate includes sales of heavy trucks.
U.S. auto sales are expected to continue the strong pace set
at the end of last year, with industry sales rising as much as
15 percent due to an improving housing market and pent-up demand
for cars and trucks.
The industry is expected to report today an annual sales
rate in January of 15.3 million vehicles, according to analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters. The figure does not include heavy
trucks, which account for around 300,000 sales a year.