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Toledo products help boost Chrysler sales


For the first time in five years, Chrysler has earned a profit. Several Toledo-built products are part of that.

Sales of the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro took a big jump nationally in April and the Jeep Wrangler continues to see sales increases as well. It's a huge turnaround for a company some thought might not survive.

The turnaround comes a little less than two years after Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection. The good news for Chrysler means local dealers are seeing a spike in business, too!

Chrysler's sales numbers were up 22 percent when comparing last April to this April.

In fact, it's the automaker's best April in three years. Sales numbers were also up double digits in April at Yark Chrysler Dodge Jeep. The company's Dave Doster told us, "Our sales were up about 25 percent year over from last April and you'd have to go back to April 2008 to equal sales for this year. The numbers are continuing to go up and we hope it gets better yet."

The three Toledo-built products are helping with the turnaround. Wrangler sales were up nine percent compared to April 2010. Liberty sales were up 39 percent and Nitro sales shot up 44 percent compared to last April.

Chrysler's worldwide sales rose 18 percent thanks to the improving economy and new products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee. And buyers also paid more. Revenue rose 36 percent to $13.1 billion.

At Yark, one of the best sellers lately is the Chrysler 200. Doster says, "The new Chrysler 200 has really taken off. They are getting into that market more than before. Our sales have been very brisk. In fact, we've had trouble getting enough cars to keep up with the sales pace so that's another positive sign."

The increased sales numbers are the payoff for some tough business decisions in the last few years, including cutting workers and closing plants.

Experts say the improving economy is also a big factor in Chrsyler's turnaround. Lancz says, "They trail in some areas as far as competitive advantage but they're trying to make up for it with a lower cost structure. They have a good chance now where two years ago they didn't."

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