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On the Strength of Key Segments, Chrysler Group Reports U.S. Sales for May 2005 Increased 6 Percent

  • Chrysler Brand Sets All-Time Monthly Sales Record

  • Minivans Continue Segment Dominance, Sales Increase 8 Percent

  • Chrysler 300 Continues Its String of Monthly Sales Exceeding 10,000 Units
  • Dodge Charger Available at Dealerships Nationwide, Nearly 2,000 Unit Sales in 10 Days with Limited Availability

Auburn Hills, Mich., Jun 01, 2005-Chrysler Group reported today that U.S. sales for May 2005 were 214,575 units, an increase of 6 percent. Compared to May 2004 which had two additional selling days and one additional selling weekend, unadjusted Chrysler Group sales declined 3 percent. All sales are reported on a day-rate adjusted basis unless otherwise indicated.

"With two fewer selling days during May and one less selling weekend, our dealers performed extremely well this month selling Chrysler Group products," said Gary Dilts, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President - Sales. "Our product fundamentals are strong in our Large Car, Minivan, Sports Tourer and Truck categories that led to sales gains during May."

Chrysler Group's industry-leading minivans with the exclusive Stow 'n GoTM seating once again reinforced its dominance in the minivan segment by posting sales of 39,309 units, an increase of 8 percent over May 2004 sales of 39,387 units.

The company's Sports Tourer segment saw significant growth of 34 percent to 21,335 units in May 2005 compared to May 2004 sales of 17,312. Truck sales increased 1 percent to 51,693 units helped in part by strong Dodge Dakota sales, which increased 16 percent.

Sales of the Large Car segment increased 20 percent to 36,559 units, led by the Chrysler 300. It continued its healthy sales pace by posting sales of 12,958 units, a 7 percent increase over May 2004 sales, and a 14 percent increase over April 2005 sales of 12,837 units.

"The Chrysler 300 has proven it has staying power and broad appeal," said Dilts. "We've sold nearly 170,000 since last April and it is being purchased by every demographic category, with 20 percent of Chrysler 300 customers adding the vehicle to cars they already own instead of trading in another vehicle to get it."

Propelled by the sustained success of the Chrysler 300 and the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, the Chrysler brand set an all-time monthly sales record of 61,696 units, a 17 percent increase over record May 2004 sales of 57,333.

Overall, the Dodge brand increased by 1 percent to 112,610 units. The Dodge brand has returned to the sedan market with the introduction of the all-new, Hemi-powered Dodge Charger, which began arriving at Dodge dealerships nationwide during the month of May.

"Early feedback on the Dodge Charger has been extremely positive and indicates that customers are excited about the Dodge brand's reinterpretation of the classic," said Dilts. "Consumers have already bought 1,841 units during May in only 10 days of being available and very few vehicles actually on dealers' lots."

Other Dodge brand products include the Dodge Dakota that posted increased sales of 16 percent to 11,840 units compared to May 2004 sales of 11,019 units and the Dodge Magnum, which posted increased sales of 5,035 units, a 135 percent increase over its introductory May 2004 sales of 2,320 units and 7 percent higher than April 2005.

Led by the strong sales of the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, which increased 9 percent to 18,040 units, and the Jeep Wrangler which increased 11 percent to 8,543 units, the Jeep brand posted sales of 40,269 units, an increase of 4 percent over May 2004 sales.

"The economy is continuing its steady recovery. The stock market has had a string of positive days, rising 100 points during May, consumer confidence has improved 5 percent since April and durable goods indicators are pointing positive along with housing starts," said Dilts. "We continue to launch head-turning products at a steady pace, joining the industry-leading products we already have in the marketplace. We are bullish about the economy and the prospects for buying a car for the rest of this year."

Chrysler Group finished the month with 584,432 units of inventory, or a 65-day supply.
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