The country’s third largest automaker, Chrysler, has reported sales were up during the second quarter and profit improved as well. The improvements are being credited to as strong demand for trucks and SUVs.
Despite the good sales and profits, there was some bad news for shareholders. The company cut its target for full-year sales and profits because of continuous problems. The company is adding more shifts and is working to increase production of popular vehicles, such as the Ram truck and the small Jeep Cherokee SUV.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told media in a conference call, “You need to remember that in 2010 we produced 1 million cars. We’re now at two-and-a-half times that level.”
The CEO explained making sure the manufacturer has had enough parts to manufacture the cars has been a persistent problem. In addition, the company is working out some minor bugs in some new vehicle components. Engineers are making final adjustments to the Jeep Cherokee’s new nine-speed transmission, but the first vehicles rolled off the line in June.
The addition of more workers is being stepped up for the automaker as well. A second shift with 1,100 people will start making Cherokees next month. An additional 1,250 people will be making transmissions in Kokomo, Ind., next year.
The majority owner of Chrysler, Fiat SpA, the Italian automaker, brought the company out of bankruptcy just four years ago. So even though there is still a long way to go, the company has made great strides in the last four years.
Chrysler’s first quarter sales has suffered because its release of the newer versions of the Ram pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, which are two of the company’s most popular vehicles. Having the production problems resolved by the second quarter, Ram sales rose 30.4 percent in the U.S. over the same time period last year. Many of the sales were credited to businesses and construction companies who needed to replace aging trucks. It was actually the Ram truck’s second best quarter since 2007. Grand Cherokee sales soared by 27 percent.
Worldwide, Chrysler sold 643,000 vehicles during the second quarter, which was up 10 percent from the previous year. Sales were also up 10 percent in the U.S. where 75 percent of the company’s vehicles are sold. U.S. sales rose faster than the industry average of 8 percent in the second quarter of the year.
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