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Chrysler Group Middle East achieves 20% growth, sets new sales record in 2011

United Arab Emirates: 03/07/2012

Chrysler Group Middle East recorded its best ever sales in 2011, closing the year with total sales of 15,246 vehicles, a year on year increase of 20% over 2010 (12,664).

"In 2010, we achieved an outstanding performance despite difficult market conditions. Our success continued in 2011, with almost all of our Middle East markets registering significant growth, resulting in a 20% increase in sales over 2010," said Jack Rodencal, Managing Director of Chrysler Group Middle East. "This performance is a major step forward within Chrysler Group's global business plan and clear evidence of the highly positive consumer reaction to the latest Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram models."

"Over and above the significant enhancements that have been made to our products, we're continuing to focus on customer satisfaction as well - infrastructure-wise, we are consistently reviewing and enhancing our operation, sales and marketing strategy, and this has had a positive effect. Significantly, we not only achieved the objectives we set for 2011 but also boosted our retail market share in what was a very challenging year."

"Not only have our sales grown significantly - in most markets, our growth rates are way above the industry average. Within the framework of Chrysler Group's growth strategy, we will shift up another gear in 2012 and 2013, our intention being to at least double our Middle East sales over this period. In order to do so, we will further expand our model ranges and strengthen our activities in the region."

The biggest drivers for Jeep® were the internationally acclaimed Grand Cherokee (up a massive 156% year on year), Wrangler (up 43%) and Cherokee (up 21%). With further revisions in the line-up for 2012, including the introduction of the award-winning 3.6-litre Pentastar engine and a new gearbox in the Wrangler, 2012 looks likely to be yet another significant milestone in the Jeep brand's history.

Despite product availability restrictions, Dodge remained CGME's highest selling brand. The all-new Dodge Charger once again led from the front with over 3,000 units sold across the region. The Nitro and all-new Durango models also performed extremely well, with increased sales - more than 1,500 Dodge Nitros and 1,300 Durangos.

2011 also saw the emergence of Ram as a standalone brand along with a revised product and pricing strategy, and CGME expects to see exponential growth for the brand in 2012.

"Our dealers in the Middle East and Levant region are achieving excellent conversion rates with customers and it is clear that people in the market for new vehicles really appreciate the new-found quality and reassurance that our latest product ranges give. No-one is saying 2012 will be easy - far from it, as we know it will be very tough - but with good quality products and discipline I believe the success of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Mopar will continue," said Rodencal.

Country-wise, there was outstanding sales growth in Jordan (up 141% year on year), Oman (+134%), Qatar (+58%), Lebanon (+47%), Saudi Arabia (+38%) and the UAE (+34%). Sales in the Iraqi market also grew by an encouraging 14%. December 2011 was the best month for sales, breaking all previous records for the region with sales rising 78% over December 2010.

"Despite acute challenges and stiff competition in the region's automotive industry, Chrysler Group Middle East continues to push forward. We met all of our targets for 2011 and showed we are on track for sustained growth," said Rodencal. "We are totally committed to consistently offer our Middle East customers vehicles that are at the cutting edge of quality, design and technology."

Underpinning the quality of the latest Chrysler Group products, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named 11 models, including the Chrysler 200 and 300, Dodge Charger and Durango plus Jeep Grand Cherokee and Patriot as Top Safety Picks for 2012. The IIHS annually recognises vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover and rear crashes in a series of tests conducted by the Institute.

Consumer Reports magazine's annual auto survey saw Jeep® climbing seven spots to #13, making it the most reliable domestic brand in the USA for which Consumer Reports has sufficient data to predict reliability, while Chrysler (up twelve spots, the biggest leap in the industry) and Dodge (up three spots) also recorded significant gains.

"Having 11 vehicles named IIHS Top Safety Picks, plus countless prestigious international and regional awards for capability, build quality and exterior/interior design plus recognition of the reliability of our products really illustrates our commitment to design excellence, engineering quality, safety and security across all of our vehicle brands and segments," added Rodencal. "Everyone agrees that the vehicles the company is building right now have the best reliability in its history, and as we continue our product transformation, we will engineer even more new technology and capability into all of our vehicles."

In 2011, CGME again carried out a special thermal testing programme that included peak time traffic and highway driving, long-term shopping mall idling and off-roading in mountain and sand environments. It also examined key criteria such as AC performance, engine system cooling, material and paint durability, electronics, drivetrain and transmission.

"The prime objective is not only to consistently meet but exceed customer expectations, and is clear recognition that in the harsh environments of the Middle East, climactic conditions and vehicle usage differ greatly from any other market in the world," concluded Rodencal.
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