The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chrysler 300M led the charge for DaimlerChrysler Corporation's Chrysler and Jeep brands in Europe, with the Grand Cherokee having its best sales month ever outside the U.S. and the 300M turning in the second-hottest sales month since it was launched internationally last year. The Chrysler and Jeep brands saw double-digit sales increases during May in Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Italy.
Sales outside the U.S. as a whole for Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep brands were down 9 percent in May, with 16,349 cars and trucks delivered to customers, compared to 18,040 sold during the same period in 1998. Of the total, 5,290 were Grand Cherokees and 800 were 300Ms.
``The Grand Cherokee was our No. 1 seller outside North America for the first time in May, while 300M sales continue to pick up speed,'' said Theodor R. Cunningham, Executive Vice President, International and Latin America and General Manager Chrysler Truck Operations. ``We're seeing a gradual easing of the Asian and Latin American economic crises, which should mean continued sales momentum going forward.''
Sales totaled 9,886 in Europe, an 11 percent jump over May 1998's 8,931. Latin America sales were 3,745, a 24 percent dip from May 1998's 4,907. Bright spots, however, included both Brazil and Puerto Rico; Brazil seeing a 41 percent climb, Puerto Rico an 18 percent rise. In addition, the Dodge Dakota and the Grand Cherokee both realized sales increases in Latin America for the month, Dakota posted sales of 537, compared to 149 in May 1998; and Grand Cherokee was at 1,320 versus 1,111 for the same period last year. In other regions, Asia Pacific sales were 1,647, a 47 percent decrease and Middle East Africa, with sales of 1,039, a 4 percent dip from May 1998.