Chrysler’s April Global Sales Rise 20% Amid Gains Outside U.S.
By Tim Higgins - May 10, 2011
Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker operated by Fiat SpA (F), said global automobile sales in April rose 20 percent from a year earlier as deliveries outside North America increased at a faster rate than in March.
Global deliveries climbed to 160,380 last month, Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler said in an e-mail. Worldwide sales this year through April rose 18 percent to 554,259, trailing the 32 percent growth rate that Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has targeted for this year.
Marchionne is seeking to refinance Chrysler’s debt to repay U.S. and Canadian government loans this quarter, allowing Fiat to exercise an option to raise its stake in the U.S. automaker to 46 percent from 30 percent. He also is pushing Chrysler to sell 2 million vehicles this year and turn its first annual net profit since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009.
Sales outside of North America rose 8.7 percent to 13,053 in April, Ann Smith, a Chrysler spokeswoman, said in an e-mail yesterday. That’s faster than the 1.6 percent gain in non-North America sales the company posted in March.
Chrysler’s best-selling vehicle outside of North America in April was the Dodge Journey, Smith said.
Sales in Canada rose 16 percent last month to 23,837 and 18 percent to 6,265 in Mexico, she said. The company previously reported U.S. sales rose 22 percent in April to 117,225.