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Dodge Challenger, Charger Post Best January Ever

Although Old Man Winter was particularly harsh on some areas of the United States in January, that didn’t stop the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger from posting their best first-month sales ever – with both of these large, rear wheel drive cars bucking the small car trend thanks in part to low gas prices.

Sergio Marchionne recently hinted that the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 would be left to continue on in their current state before being killed off to make room for other small cars built by Chrysler’s “partners” – whoever that may be. Based on January 2016 sales figures, you would think that he announced that the Dart and 200 were being discontinued effective January 1st, as the sales numbers for both of those vehicles plummeted from the same month last year. However, as Dodge and Chrysler’s small cars declined, all of their larger cars flourished, helping the company to record its incredible 70th consecutive month of year-over-year sales and maybe, just maybe, showing us all that the company is making the right move in focusing on their trucks, SUVs and larger cars.

Charger, Challenger Sales Boom in January
January is traditionally not a great month for sales of rear wheel drive vehicles – especially performance minded models like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. While the Charger is minimally offered with all-wheel drive, the vast majority of them are rear-drive and every Challenger is rear-drive, so these cars are prone to be less popular during the winter months in areas where they get snow…In theory.

In reality, the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger were the Chrysler Group’s 1st and 3rd most popular car last month, both showing massive gains over the same month in 2015. Granted, this comes right after a major storm rocked the East Coast, but when we consider how relatively mild this winter has been – it is hard to blame snow on poor performance car sales from other brands. What makes this fact particularly impressive is that last January, the Challenger was still a hot new model and people were tripping over themselves to grab up the likes of the new Hellcat and Scat Pack models, but the Challenger still moved roughly 500 more units this January than last.

With 5,085 Dodge Challengers sold last month, the brawny Mopar muscle car had its best January ever, literally doubling up on several of the past Januarys since the Challenger returned to the lineup. The only cars in the Chrysler Group lineup to outsell the Challenger were the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 200. The Dodge Charger also had its best January ever, moving 9,164 sporty sedans last month to lead all Chrysler Group cars in monthly sales.

Big Vehicle Future
It should be noted that while the Dodge Charger was the company’s bestselling car with 9,164 units sold in January, the Ram pickup, the Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Cherokee all outsold the Charger. Also, the Jeep Patriot, the Jeep Renegade, the Dodge Journey, Dodge Grand Caravan, the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Durango all sold more units than the Chrysler 200 or the Dodge Challenger, so in Chrysler’s top 11 bestselling vehicles, the company has 1 car, 1 truck, 2 minivans and 7 sport utility vehicles of varying sizes.

Based on those statistics, it is hard to question the company’s decision to focus on their trucks, SUVs and large cars, as they are all of their best performing vehicles on the sales sheet. Of course, this plan works when gas prices are low and consumers aren’t all that concerned with the lower fuel economy of these bigger vehicles, but even when gas prices were higher – Chrysler’s best sellers were trucks and SUVs while the large cars like the Charger, the Challenger and the Chrysler 300 have all been consistently growing over the past few years.