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    August 2012 - Chrysler


    Chrysler Group LLC Reports August 2012 U.S. Sales Increased 14 Percent; Best August Sales in Five Years

    • Best August sales since 2007
    • 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains
    • Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, and FIAT brands each post sales increases in August compared with same month a year ago
    • FIAT brand sets all-time sales record with 34 percent increase
    • FIAT brand introduces the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo, the fourth model in U.S. product lineup
    • Chrysler brand sales up 25 percent; best August sales since 2007
    • Chrysler 300 flagship sedan records 65 percent increase; best August sales since 2007
    • Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan sets sales record for month of August
    • Chrysler Town & Country posts 30 percent sales increase; best August since 2006
    • Ram Truck brand sales up 18 percent compared with same month last year
    • Ram pickup truck sales up 19 percent in August as Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab models post sales gains
    • Best Ram pickup truck August sales since 2007
    • Dodge brand sales up 13 percent; best August sales since 2005
    • Sales of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart up 294 percent compared with previous month as production ramp up continues in the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant
    • Dodge Journey full-size crossover sets an all-time sales record
    • Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car set sales records for month of August
    • Dodge Grand Caravan sales up 35 percent; best August sales since 2005
    • Jeep brand sales increase 5 percent in August; best August since 2003
    • Jeep Wrangler sets sales record for month of August
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 13 percent compared with same month a year ago; best August sales since 2006
    • Chrysler Group’s revamped product lineup and extensive quality investments make it the most improved automaker in Strategic Vision’s 2012 Total Quality Index study
    • Dodge Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Fiat 500 win Strategic Vision 2012 Total Quality Awards
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger win AutoPacific’s 2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards based on owners’ ratings of their 2012 cars and trucks

    Auburn Hills, Mich. , Sep 4, 2012 - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 148,472 units, a 14 percent increase compared with sales in August 2011 (130,120 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2007.

    The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands each recorded year-over- year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago. The Fiat brand’s 34 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand for the month. August marked Chrysler Group’s 29th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

    The Dodge brand produced three record-setting models while registering the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. The Dodge Journey full-size crossover, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record while the sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set a sales record for the month of August.

    The FIAT, Chrysler and Jeep brands also produced record-setting models in August. The Fiat 500 set an all-time sales record with its 34 percent sales gain while the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan and the Jeep Wrangler established sales records for the month of August.

    “Our Iron Man streak continued last month as we posted our 29th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “Our hard work over the past few years is starting to pay some dividends in our sales growth, quality awards and profitability. Not to mention, an incredibly resilient U.S. new vehicle sales industry doesn’t hurt either.”

    Chrysler Group’s 14 percent increase in August was driven in part by sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan (3,045 units). Dart sales were up 294 percent in August compared with the previous month of July, as the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant continues to ramp up Dart production.

    The Chrysler 300 flagship sedan, with its substantial 65 percent increase, contributed to Chrysler Group’s August increase, as did the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, each posting double-digit percentage gains for the month. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a 13 percent hike, had its best August in six years while the Ram pickup truck extended its lengthy streak of consecutive year-over-year sales gains with a 19 percent increase in August.

    Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (362,407 units). U.S. industry sales figures for August are projected at an estimated 14.6 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

    August 2012 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

    FIAT Brand

    FIAT brand sales, up 34 percent compared with the same month a year ago, were an all-time sales record in August. Sales of the Fiat 500 Cabrio were up 37 percent versus the same month last year, while the Fiat 500 Abarth, the ultimate high-performance small car, recorded a 22 percent increase compared with sales during the previous month of July. The Fiat 500 was one of three Chrysler Group models to rank highest in their segment in Strategic Vision’s 2012 Total Quality Index in August. The Fiat 500 was ranked first in the Small Car segment.

    The FIAT Brand introduced the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo in August, the fourth model in the expanding FIAT brand product lineup and one of the most affordable turbo-charged vehicles in America. The Fiat 500 Turbo features a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior. The new Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call for enthusiasts who are drawn to the Italian style of the Fiat 500 but want more power and performance for their daily drive.

    Chrysler Brand

    Chrysler brand sales were up 25 percent, the brand’s best August sales in five years and its 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 300 flagship sedan were up 65 percent, the full-size sedan’s best August sales in five years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan contributed to the brand’s sales gain by setting a sales record for the month of August. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which offers families versatility, luxury, and convenience at a value, logged a double-digit sales increase, its best August sales in six years and second best sales month this year.

    Ram Truck Brand

    The Ram pickup truck extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 28-consecutive months in August. Sales of the Ram pickup truck, Chrysler Group’s volume leader, were up 19 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. It was the pickup truck’s best August sales performance since 2007. Of the Ram 1500 sales, the regular cab pickups posted the largest percentage sales increase in August, while the crew cab trucks led in volume. The Ram Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab pickup trucks posted year-over-year sales increases in August. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 53 percent sales increase compared with the previous month of July.

    The Ram Truck brand, which recorded its best August sales in four years, introduced its new 2013 Ram 1500 to the automotive media in August underscoring the model’s best-in-class fuel economy, state-of-the-art technology, and class-exclusive features. Production of the Ram begins this month and is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in October.

    Dodge Brand

    Dodge brand sales increased 13 percent, the brand’s best August sales since 2005 and its second best sales month this year. Dodge brand sales of 47,348 units represented the largest sales volume of any Chrysler Group brand in August. Sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan soared 294 percent in its third month of sales. As Dart production continues to ramp up in the Belvidere, Ill. assembly plant, a full, multifaceted marketing campaign will launch this month, following the 90-second “How to Change Cars Forever” commercial that debuted in July.

    As sales of the new Dart heat up, three Dodge models set sales records in August. The Dodge Journey, the most versatile and affordable crossover in America, set an all-time sales record with its hefty 58 percent increase in August. The sporty Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan and Dodge Challenger muscle car each set sales records for month of August. Not to be outdone by the passenger cars, the Dodge Grand Caravan had its best August in seven years. In fact, the Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans each logged double-digit sales increases in August.

    The Dodge Charger took home a Strategic Vision 2012 Total Quality Award in the Large Car segment, complementing its 30 percent sales increase in August, while the Dodge brand was cited as the most improved brand in the industry.

    Jeep® Brand

    Jeep brand sales were up 5 percent, the brand’s best August sales in nine years and its 28th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Jeep Wrangler, the brand’s volume leader in August, set a sales record for the month of August. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV ever, were up 13 percent, its best August sales in six years. Sales of the Jeep Liberty were up 15 percent in August compared with the same month last year. It was the Liberty’s best August since 2006.

    The Grand Cherokee won a Total Quality Award in the Medium SUV segment from Strategic Vision in August. Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index reflects all aspects of buying, owning and driving a vehicle as a holistic measure, and encompasses positive and negative experiences including reliability, driving excitement, emotional attachment and overall sales and service satisfaction.

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    • By William Maley
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      “It gives us the opportunity to become a real European champion. Our plan is to build a common future for Opel and Vauxhall and fix the existing issues,” said PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares.
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      "The way I look at this is positioning Opel-Vauxhall to be incredibly successful in the future," said GM CEO Mary Barra when asked by a reporter if she was relieved about the sale of Opel and Vauxhall. 
      "General Motors doesn't have to be relieved. They can be proud of giving Opel-Vauxhall a better future," said Tavares.
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      “We don’t need to shut down plants,” said Tavares.
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      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors, PSA Group
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Opel/Vauxhall to join PSA Group
      Establishes PSA Group as #2 in Europe. This strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide Joint venture in auto financing with BNP Paribas to support development of Opel/Vauxhall brands €2.2 Bn transaction advances GM’s transformation and unlocks shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation Detroit and Paris – General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively.
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      “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. “We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”
      “We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.
      Advances GM’s Transformation and Unlocks Value
      “We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
      “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.
      “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects,” Ms. Barra concluded.
      Strengthens Each Company for the Long Term
      The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. Annual synergies of €1.7 Bn are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround. Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin3 of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow4 by 2020.
      PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.
      The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders. It will strengthen GM’s core business, support its continued deployment of resources to higher-return opportunities including in advanced technologies driving the future, and unlock significant value for shareholders.
      By immediately improving EBIT-adjusted, EBIT-adjusted margins and adjusted automotive free cash flow and de-risking the balance sheet, the transaction will enable GM to lower the cash balance requirement under its capital allocation framework by $2 Bn, which it intends to use to accelerate share repurchases, subject to market conditions.
      GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.
      Additional Information
      Terms of the Agreement
      Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations will be acquired by PSA for €1.3 Bn. GM Financial’s European operations will be jointly acquired by PSA and BNP Paribas for 0.8 times their pro forma book value at the closing of the transaction, or approximately €0.9 Bn.
      The transaction has a total value of €2.2 Bn, for Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and 100% of GM Financial’s European operations.
      The transaction value for PSA, including Opel/Vauxhall and 50% of GM Financial’s European operations, will be €1.8 Bn.
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      The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering center in Torino, Italy.
      Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.
      In connection with the transaction, GM will take a primarily non-cash special charge of $4.0-4.5 Bn.
      Ongoing Pension Fund Commitments
      All of Opel/Vauxhall’s European and U.K. pension plans, funded and unfunded, with the exception of the German Actives Plan and selected smaller plans will remain with GM. The obligations with respect to the German Actives Plan and these smaller plans of Opel/Vauxhall will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA €3.0 Bn for full settlement of transferred pension obligations.
      Closing Conditions
      The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and reorganizations, and is expected to close before the end of 2017.
      Warrants
      The issuance of the warrants is subject to the vote of shareholders at PSA’s General Meeting of May 10th, 2017. The three main shareholders of PSA (the French State, the Peugeot family and DongFeng) representing in aggregate 36.6% of the share capital and 51.5%7 of the voting rights of PSA have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolution related to the issuance of the warrants to GM. In the event the warrant issuance reserved to GM and its affiliates is not approved by PSA’s General Meeting, PSA will settle the €0.65 Bn in cash over five years.
    • By William Maley
      One vehicle that we are currently excited to see is the new Jeep Wrangler pickup. We last heard production of this model would begin in 2018 at FCA's assembly plant in Toledo, OH. But production has been pushed back.
      Speaking with The Detroit News, Jeep head Mike Manley revealed the production of the Wrangler pickup has been pushed back till late 2019. No reason was given for this pushback. As we reported back in December, production of the Wrangler pickup would begin sometime after March 2018 - the month that production of the current Wrangler is expected to end.
      The Detroit News also says a name hasn't been chosen for the upcoming Wrangler pickup. If we may make a suggestion, Gladiator or Scrambler.
      Source: The Detroit News

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