News & Resources

Back from the brink: Detroit automaker on its way to reclaiming glory

Oct 10, 2011 Randy Mosteller

The auto industry in the United States has certainly gone through its fair share of ups and downs in the past few years. And perhaps no company has been in as dire a situation as Chrysler. In 2009, the company, then known as DaimlerChrysler, was sold to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management to help it stay afloat. The new brand was introduced in July 2009, and was given $6.6 billion in auto industry financing from the U.S. government to help it payoff some old debts under its former brand. However, in more recent years the company has been able to attract new customers and is reporting an increase in profits. According to a recent release, Chrysler Group announced that its total sales had increased 27 percent in the month of September from a year before and represents the 18th straight month of year-over-year sales increases. One of the top selling models within the company to see significant gains was the new Jeep Compass, which recorded a 306 percent sales increase from the same time last year. The latest version of Chrysler 200 saw an 87 percent increase, possibly due to consumers getting better access to auto industry financing. The president and CEO of Dodge brand and head of its U.S. sales divisions, Reid Bigland, said that despite the current economic struggles, people still spent money on quality products. "Irrespective of the economy, strong products equal strong sales and with our retail sales up a whopping 50 percent that is exactly what we have," said Bigland. "September was also our 18th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth and we have now gained more retail market share than anyone else in the country. There is no double dip downturn going on around here." Other Detroit automakers are reporting increases in sales as well. General Motors reported that its sales during September were 20 percent higher than a year prior. GM stated that it sold 207,145 vehicles during the time period, thanks to an increase demand for SUVs and pickup trucks. Ford also recorded an increase in sales, though only by 9 percent.