Chrysler earnings 1.7-billion in 2012 and revises product plans

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Riding on a red-hot car market Chrysler Group's sales have been strong and profits high, with a 68-percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings from $225 million in 2011 to $378 million last year, combining with the three previous quarters for total 2012 preliminary net earnings surpassing $1.7 billion, a far cry from the $183 million earned in 2011 after repaying government loans.

"While we are pleased to have achieved strong financial results in 2012, the enterprise we are crafting is not complete," said Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. "The goals we've set for the year ahead reflect a common desire by everyone from leadership to the shop floor to succeed and sustain the power of the house we are building. Our aim is meaningful, but it is not complicated, and only a preoccupation with quality can achieve it. We pause for a moment to enjoy our accomplishments, but we will not stop. Our continued achievement relies upon maintaining a humble spirit and an intense focus on the integrity of our work. And so we press on."  

The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker's gains mostly came from increased market share, up 11.4-percent on sales of 1.65 million vehicles. Total Chrysler Group vehicle sales growth increased by 21-percent in 2012, outpacing the rest of the industry by 8-percent.

While Chrysler's 200, Dodge's Journey, Jeep's Wrangler and Ram's 1500 continue to sell very well for their respective brands, and all-new models like the Dodge Dart gain traction, the automaker has even bigger plans to grow market share within its Chrysler Group products and with Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands over the next few years. Updating a plan first revealed in 2009 when the Italian automaker first took control of Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker has recently revealed that it will launch a new Alfa Romeo model into the North American market this year, most likely the beautiful 4C sport coupe, plus five additional serpent-badged vehicles by 2016. During the same time period Fiat will likewise expand past its 500 coupe, 500C convertible and 500L four-door models to add seven more body styles to its lineup.

And what can we expect from the four domestic brands? We've already reported on a new commercial van derived from the Fiat Ducato, and you may also have heard rumours about a Fiat-sourced compact Jeep to replace the current Compass and Patriot models. Also part of the plan is a seven-passenger Jeep to revive the Grand Wagoneer nameplate and effectively replace the now-defunct Commander. We should also expect less time between model refreshes in order to keep the automaker's product lineup current and exciting, with refreshes more dramatically styled to show greater differentiation from outgoing models to new.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram,

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