DaimlerChrysler Corporation brand vehicles in the U.S. in 1999, setting an all-time sales record for the second consecutive year. Total sales volume for the year surpassed the 1998 record of 2,510,011 vehicles, an increase of five percent.
December sales were a monthly record 204,754, up one percent over the record level of 203,325 in 1998.
Total light truck sales for 1999 -- including minivans and Jeep vehicles -- set a record also for the second consecutive year with 1,893,286 units, a seven percent increase over the 1,770,794 vehicles sold in 1998. Of those, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) accounted for 744,306 units, a 21 percent increase over 1998, making 1999 a second-straight record year for SUVs. Total car sales were up slightly for the second straight year with 745,275 vehicles.
``We are very excited about our second-straight all-time record sales of our Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep and Dodge brands,'' said Theodor R. Cunningham, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing. ``With our record December sales, we ended 1999 on a high note, with record levels for eight months of the year.
``Our business is showing an excellent balance with light trucks continuing a record-setting pace and our car sales showing steady year-over-year improvement. This momentum is due to our strong line-up of cars and trucks that meet our customers' demands. We have a lot to look forward to in this new year with an unprecedented number of exciting new vehicles due to hit the streets in 2000, starting with the segment busting Chrysler PT Cruiser this spring,'' Cunningham said.
Fourteen sales records were established in calendar year 1999, in addition to the high marks set by light trucks. Records include:
- Jeep sales of 554,466 were up 21 percent over last year, breaking the calendar year record of 509,183 units set in 1996. Additionally, it was a record year for all Jeep vehicle lines -- Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee led the way with a record 300,031 units, a 31 percent increase over last year and breaking the previous record of 279,195 set in 1996.
- Dodge Division sales were 1,498,067, a four percent increase over last year's record levels of 1,442,777.
- Dodge Ram pickup sales were a record 428,930, beating the 1998 record by five percent. Dodge Durango sales were a record 189,840 up 21 percent over the 1998 record.
There were 12 sales records established in the month of December. Records include:
- 16th consecutive monthly record for sales of sport utility vehicles. A total of 59,975 SUVs were sold in December, up three percent versus 1998.
- A new monthly high for the Jeep brand, with 43,597 in sales, compared to the previous record of 41,127 set in 1997.
- A record sales month for Dodge Division of 120,194 units, surpassing last year's record of 117,332.
- A record sales month for Dodge Dakota of 13,012 units, boosted by the introduction of the Dakota Quad Cab, up 12 percent over last year and surpassing the previous record of 12,053 set in 1997.
``This record-setting month and year are the result of the hard work of all our employees, dealer partners and the loyalty of our customers,'' Cunningham said.