The Dodge Caliber was the top-selling Chrysler Group vehicle outside North America year-to-date (4,834 units), and continued to be the Chrysler Group sales leader in Western Europe, the largest-volume region. Dodge brand sales led Chrysler Group's expansion efforts in international markets with sales up 278 percent.
"The global success of Dodge Caliber shows us that there is a significant group of customers in European and international markets who are attracted to the bold and unique characteristics of the Dodge brand," said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing. "And we have more to come; later this year, the Dodge Nitro and Avenger will be available to customers all over the world."
For the month, Chrysler 300C led the product lineup in terms of both sales and overall growth with 2,629 units sold and a 57 percent increase. Local production of the Chrysler 300C began at the end of last year in Beijing; and in February, the vehicle outsold any other Chrysler Group vehicle in the Chinese market by more than five times. Growth in the Asia Pacific region as a whole was up 26 percent for the month.
Italy remained the Company's largest volume market with sales up 2 percent and 3,363 units sold so far in 2007. It is followed by Germany, which has seen double-digit growth of 13 percent in 2007, and a total of 2,372 units sold.
"The positive sales trend that we're seeing in these markets is showing that our vehicles, dealer network and marketing efforts are appealing to new customers. A direct result is increased profitability; 2006 was the most profitable year ever for Chrysler Group's International operations," said Hausch. "We have a strong dealer network in place with the right products in the market, and more on the way, to sustain this growth. And in the fast-growing markets, we are reaching out to new dealers to increase our network and ensure that the customer experience there is a positive one as well, in addition to increasing brand awareness and loyalty."
Expansion and sales growth in international markets has been a strategic goal for the Chrysler Group in recent years. As an example of commitment to this effort, last month the Company announced that the Dodge brand will join Chrysler and Jeep vehicles for sale in China. Starting this year, all three Chrysler Group brands will be sold there for the first time ever, laying the foundation for future growth and continued expansion outside North America.
Chrysler Group sells and services vehicles in more than 125 countries around the world, and Chrysler Group sales outside North America currently account for approximately eight percent of the Company's total global sales. Vehicles available range across all three Chrysler Group brands, with limited availability on some trucks and SUV models. The Company's operations outside North America have been experiencing year-over-year sales increases since 2004, and will continue to increase the number of product offerings, powertrain options and RHD availability through 2007.
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Source: Chrysler Group