It remains to be seen whether this recovery period at Fiat-run Chrysler will be short-lived, long-lasting, or long-lasting enough to see Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep over the hump to a time when products aren’t simply refreshed but all-new and highly competitive. Apart from the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep’s new 2011s are new only in the engine bay and the interior. They mostly look the same and, underneath the body, mostly are the same. Yet sales are up in advance of the arrival of these newish models, so what’s in store for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the coming months?
It’s hard to say. As for October 2010, Chrysler brand sales were up 29%. Jeep sales jumped 111% and Dodge was up 14%. Let’s not kid ourselves, though. These numbers are in comparison with October 2009, a very bad month for many automakers. Look back to October 2008 and you’ll see total Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep sales at 94,530. Compare that with October 2010’s 90,137 Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep sales. Gains were made in October 2010, but not so substantial as to say Chrysler’s back in the thick of it.