Auburn Hills, Michigan – Chrysler’s March sales of 24,032 units outside North America are the highest monthly sales total on record for the company in international markets. An increase of seven per cent in March 2008 over the same month last year also extended the company’s international growth streak to 34 consecutive months and pushed first quarter 2008 sales up nine per cent to a first quarter record of 57,346 units.
“Our expanded international dealer network and product lineup is creating a new generation of loyal customers in all parts of the world,” said Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President of Chrysler LLC. “Driving our international growth are new fuel-efficient models, like Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, and right-size performance vehicles such as the Dodge Caliber SRT4, which will arrive in markets outside North America later this year. It is truly an exciting time for Chrysler in markets around the world.”
European sales, which account for slightly more than half of Chrysler’s sales outside North America, increased four per cent in the first quarter. Italy is the highest volume market for Chrysler outside of North America in 2008, with sales up 15 per cent year-to-date to 6,170 units. The U.K. market had its best first quarter Chrysler sales ever (5,609 units), an increase of 10 per cent, and outsold all other markets during the month of March. Russia is the company’s highest-growth European market with sales up 94 per cent year-to-date to 2,139 units, establishing a record in the market for the best quarter ever.
In Asian markets, Chrysler’s China sales more than doubled during the first quarter of 2008 (4,839 units), the greatest per cent increase of any volume market in the world for the company. The market nearly quadrupled sales for the month (2,652 units) compared to March 2007. Much of this growth can be attributed to incremental sales of the locally-built Chrysler Sebring, which was launched last month and sold over 1,000 units – accounting for 22 per cent of the market’s first quarter sales.
Sales outside North America currently account for more than nine per cent of the Company’s total global sales, up from six per cent in the year 2000.