Sales of key models lift Chrysler’s profit

The New York TimesJuly 30, 2013 

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A Chrysler sales consultant Marco Bernal (R) shows a Jeep Compass to Veronica Walker at the Hollywood Chrysler Jeep car dealership on October 2, 2012 in Hollywood, Florida.

2012 GETTY FILE PHOTO

— Chrysler said Tuesday that second-quarter net income increased 16 percent, to $507 million, mostly as a result of improved sales of core products like Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks.

Chrysler, the nation’s third-largest automaker behind General Motors and Ford, also reported quarterly revenue of $18 billion, a 7 percent improvement from the period a year earlier.

Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of both Chrysler and its Italian parent, Fiat, said the U.S. automaker benefited from increased shipments of models like the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“Chrysler Group is poised for a very strong performance in the second half of the year,” he said.

The company said it sold 643,000 vehicles worldwide in the second quarter, up 10 percent from the second quarter of 2012.

In the United States, Chrysler reported an 11.4 percent market share, up slightly from 11.2 percent the period a year earlier.

Marchionne said that new products, including the introduction of a revamped version of the Jeep Cherokee, would help sustain Chrysler’s momentum in the U.S. market.

“The timing of product launches and capacity increases causes this year’s performance to be biased in the second half,” he said.

For the full year, Chrysler reiterated earlier forecasts of at least $72 billion in revenue, and net income of $1.7 billion to $2.2 billion.

The positive performance comes as Fiat and Chrysler move closer to completing a full merger of the two companies. While Fiat owns about 58 percent of the U.S. company, it is hoping to acquire the remaining shares later this year from a retiree health care trust.

A full merger of the companies would allow for more integration of their operations and finances. Marchionne has said it could be accompanied by a new stock offering to help finance global growth plans.

Chrysler’s results helped Fiat post a net profit of 435 million euros ($578 million) in the second quarter, up from 239 million euros in the period a year earlier.

Fiat said its revenue for the quarter was 22.3 billion euros, a 4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2012.

Without Chrysler’s contribution, Fiat said it would have lost 247 million euros in the quarter, about the same as in the period a year earlier.

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