Chrysler Group LLC reported $436 million in second-quarter profits, driven by robust North American demand, in a dramatic turnaround just three years removed from bankruptcy.
The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker—smallest of the U.S. “Big Three”—derives almost 90 percent of its sales from the U.S. and Canadian markets. Today, its reliance on North America has been a boon for Chrysler, while slowing sales in Europe, South America, and Asia have been the Achilles heal of some of its biggest rivals.
The same quarter last year was unkind to Chrysler, which reported a $370 million loss as it restructured a government-backed loan.
The company also reaffirmed its $3 billion profit guidance for the current fiscal year.
This week’s results are a reflection of a desire “to deliver the very best quality and value across our brands,” said Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who also oversees Fiat S.p.A., which is the majority owner of Chrysler.
Worldwide, vehicle shipments totaled 630,000 for the quarter, a 22 percent increase from the second quarter of 2011, while sales totaled 582,000, a 20 percent increase.
Chrysler has enjoyed success since being shepherded by Fiat and Marchionne, enjoying Fiat’s design and engineering expertise. When Fiat first took over, Chrysler had suffered from uninspiring vehicles and poor quality surveys.
Since its bankruptcy, Chrysler has introduced several popular vehicle models, including the revamped Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 200, and the all-new Dodge Dart. The Dart will become the first vehicle to be jointly developed by Fiat and Chrysler.
Earlier in July, Fiat announced that it had exercised its call option to purchase an additional 3.3 percent of Chrysler, boosting its total ownership percentage to 61.8 percent.
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