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Chrysler becomes Canada’s No. 1 automaker

Posted Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009, 3:43 pm in Employee News

For the first time in its 84-year history, Chrysler Canada became that nation’s No. 1 automaker, with February sales of 12,015 units versus February 2008 sales of 16,451 units.

“Our position as the No. 1 automaker this month clearly demonstrates the continued confidence Canadians have in Chrysler vehicles and in the company’s future,” Reid Bigland, President and CEO-Chrysler Canada, said. “There is no question that the current economic and automotive environment is challenging for all companies. However, it is times such as these where great value and great products can truly dominate.”

Sales highlights

The versatile and fuel-efficient Dodge Journey was once again the country’s No. 1 crossover, with sales of 949 units. The Dodge Caliber increased 4 percent versus February 2008 with unit sales of 1,204, and Dodge Charger sales jumped 21 percent with 551 units sold.

Several vehicles saw sales gains compared with the prior month (January 2009). Canada’s No. 1 selling minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan, continued its sales success with 2,803 units sold in February versus 2,191 last month, an increase of 28 percent.

The Dodge Caliber, Jeep® Patriot, and Jeep Compass “trio” were up 31 percent from January, with combined sales of 2,257. All three vehicles achieve 40 mpg (Imperial gallons) or higher and are available for less than $20,000 (Canadian).

March incentive program

For the month of March, Chrysler Canada has brought back the very popular “Canada’s Choice” program, offering consumers the ability to tailor their incentive to best meet their own needs and personalize their new vehicle.

In addition to consumer cash discounts of as much as $12,500 (Canadian) and financing as low as zero percent for 60 months, Canadians now can receive as much as $1,500 in added value on nearly every 2008 and 2009 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicle.

“Canada’s Choice” allows consumers to select from as much as $1,500 in value from four categories: Mopar® accessories, Extended Service Plan, No-charge Options or Bonus Cash Rebate. The thousands of available options or accessories include MyGig™ uconnect® radio with a touch-screen, 30 gigibyte hard drive and Sirius Satellite Radio; power sunroof; MP3 auxiliary jack; rear seat DVD video; performance accessories and much more.

Canadian cash discounts of $12,500 are available on the 2008.5 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, $10,500 on the 2009 Chrysler 300C and $9,000 on the 2009 Chrysler 300. The 2009 Dodge Charger also offers $9,000 in consumer cash discounts and is available for its best price ever—$18,998. The Dodge Charger price includes the V-6 engine that achieves 36 mpg; air conditioning; automatic transmission; power windows, locks and mirrors; anti-lock brake system and an Electronic Stability Program.

Chrysler continues to offer 12 vehicles for less than $20,000 in Canada, including the Dodge Caliber, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Charger, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey, Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Sebring Sedan and Chrysler Sebring Convertible.

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Discussion Starter #2
DOWN: Nissan,GM,Ford, Honda and so on

Nissan sales down 37.1 percent
March 3rd, 2009

Nissan North America, Inc. today reported sales for February of 54,249 units versus 86,219 units a year ago, a decrease of 37.1 percent. Sales of Nissan Division vehicles decreased 37.1 percent, while sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased by 36.8 percent.

GM February sales down 52.9 percent
March 3rd, 2009

General Motors dealers moved 127,296 vehicles in February, down 52.9 percent compared with a year ago. This reflects a 75 percent reduction in fleet sales. Retail sales for the month were off 43 percent compared with a year ago in a total industry vehicle market estimated to be the weakest February since 1967.

Honda, Toyota, others, report declining sales
March 3rd, 2009

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., posted total February vehicle sales of 71,575, down 35.4 percent compared to February 2008, based on the daily selling rate*. Honda Division posted February sales of 63,916, a decline of 34.9 percent versus February 2008. Dick Colliver, executive vice president of sales for American Honda, said, “We hope, as spring beckons and the economy strengthens, sales will begin their upswing.”
The Acura Division posted sales of 7,659, a decline of 39.0 percent compared to February 2008. Sales of the TSX sports sedan, the brand’s second-best-selling model for the month, increased 4.1, percent to 2,293.

The Toyota Division posted February sales of 96,475 units, a decrease of 37.5 percent from the same period last year. The Lexus Division reported February sales of 13,108 units, a decrease of 35.8 percent from the year-ago month.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced February 2009 sales of 13,660 units, a 17.5 percent decrease over February 2008 sales of 16,556 units.

“The economy continues to be difficult for the Automotive Industry,” said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Despite the extremely difficult on-going economic conditions; the Volkswagen Brand has been growing market share in the U.S. Our stylish new CC, one of our five all-new models, is helping us gain share with strong sales achieving its best sales month ever in February,” added Barnes.

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported February sales of 14,199 vehicles. While sales for the month were down 23.5% from last year, the company’s February volume put it ahead of its mainstream competitors for the month.

Ford February sales plunge more than 48 percent
March 3rd, 2009

Ford Motor Co. reported February light vehicle sales of 99,050 units, a decline of 48.35 percent compared to February 2008. Domestic brand (Ford, Lincoln and Mercury) sales were down 48.07 percent at 95,694 cars and light trucks. These figures exclude Low Cab-Forward and Heavy trucks.

The drop in sales exceeded predictions of industry analysts who had expected a decline of about 40 percent and left Ford below the 100,000 mark for the first time in recent memory.

At the end of February, inventories totaled 405,000 units, down 32 percent from last year at this time.


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Discussion Starter #3
Strong Sales!

Car dealers say economy humming here
Thursday March 5th, 2009

Local car dealerships are reporting strong sales this winter.

BUCKING THE TREND: Wood Motors Ford owner Bill Johnson holds up a sold sign in the dealership’s showroom.

They're also saying that it's important the buying public hears the good news.

"We were up six per cent in January and we are up 23 per cent in February," said Bill Johnson, owner of Wood Motors Ford on Prospect Street.

He said any car dealership is really five businesses in one: new cars, used cars, service, parts and the body shop.

"Every one of them is up and that is compared to last year and last year was a super year for us," said Johnson. "Fredericton is a good, strong market.

"We have no (heavy) industry and nobody has lost their jobs."

It was reported this week that nationally car sales in Canada fell 27.7 per cent in February.

But Johnson said it's important the public understands that things aren't bad everywhere. He said Ford isn't doing too badly in Canada overall and Atlantic Canada is the company's strongest sales region.

"It is not as bad here as they portray it to be. Everybody always reports the worst."

Johnson said people in Fredericton aren't listening to all the doom and gloom.

Another fact that doesn't get reported in the media is that Ford quality is rated at the top and it has a safety record that is unbeatabale, he said.

Nick McCarthy, general manager of Riverview Ford Lincoln Sales Ltd., said sales were up this year over last year and 2007.

"Things are solid. We are starting out this month very strong too."

McCarthy said the local economy is stable.

"A lot of (non-car sales) people around town are bucking the trend too in their respective businesses," he said. "People often refer to Fredericton as the little bubble."

McCarthy said it's important to get that message out.

"You hear so much negative news out there. It is nice for people to know things are different around here."

J.J. Kennedy, owner of Summit Dodge Chrysler Jeep, said he hasn't seen a dropoff in sales from year to year.

"I was definitely happy with the way it went," he said about sales this winter.

Kennedy said he's starting to believe the old adage that Fredericton is immune to a recession.

He said it's important that people know Fredericton car dealerships are doing well. The Daily Gleaner first reported several months ago that local car dealers where bucking the national trend.

"The stuff (the public) is hearing from Atlanta and CNN is not a true reflection of Fredericton, New Brunswick."

Kennedy added Chrysler was first in sales in Canada in February for the first time in its history.

He said if Fredericton had a factory that employed 50,000 people, he would be worried. But he said the economy is stable here.

Jordon Boone, sales manager at Saturn of Fredericton Ltd., said sales are down slightly compared to last year, but nothing like the drop in national sales.

"The biggest thing that we are facing right now is all of the speculation and rumours that people are running rampant with as far as our brand is concerned," he said. "I will be the first one to say that there is no announcement that Saturn is shutting down.

"There seems to be that kind of perception out there and that is just not the case."

Boone said a lot of people listen to the news about the U.S. economy and push the panic button.

"People, to a certain extent, are living in fear a little bit," he said. "The Canadian economy is in better shape, for sure, and the Canadian banks, they turned a profit."

He remains optimistic.

"I think we are sheltered a little bit from outside factors."

Leo Prescott, sales manager at Fairview Plymouth Chrysler Ltd., said business is about the same as last year.

"It was very good," said the 32-year veteran of the car business.

"I have gone through the good times and the bad times.''

Prescott said people come into the showroom looking for value and Chrysler has a new line of smaller vehicles that are popular. Chrysler's vans are cheaper today than they were 10 years ago, he said.

Jim Clark, owner of Clark Toyota, said his sales are about the same as last year.

"It doesn't appear to be as bad here,'' he said. "I am sure the bigger centres take a little more of a hit because they have some manufacturing businesses that we don't have. Half this city is government and mostly white collar."

Clark said he's concentrating on the day-to-day business of running the dealership.

At Fredericton Hyundai, general manager Aubry Ward said sales are up.

"We've got some good programs on right now," he said. "It is definitely helping to drive sales."

Ward said sales here are strong and different from the United States.

"We are a university town and a government town," he said.

Mick Glendenning, co-owner of Sutherland Honda, said he's looking forward to a good year.

"We are down 18 units over January-February last year. That is not a big deal because last year was an exceptional year."

Glendenning said the dealership was up 18 units in January and February 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.

He also said Honda sales in the Atlantic zone for January were the second best on record, behind only 2008. He echoed his fellow car dealers in saying that it's important the public understands the situation here. - Car dealers say economy humming here - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada
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