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Auto blogTue, 30 Jul 2013 10:01:00 EST
Chrysler has some good news and some bad news. First, profits were up 16 percent over the second quarter of 2012, bringing the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer $507 million on the back of strong demand for trucks and SUVs (a recurring theme this quarter, particularly in the US). Q2 revenue was up as well, from $16.8 billion in 2012 to $18 billion in 2013. The bad news is that the Pentastar's overall earnings forecast for net income in 2013 has been trimmed from $2.2 billion to between $1.7 and $2.2 billion, according to Automotive News.
In addition to the adjusted net income forecast, Chrysler tweaked its operating profit from $3.8 billion to between $3.3 and $3.8 billion. This has gone largely unexplained by Chrysler, perhaps hoping the news of a three-percent increase in its transaction prices for Q2 will allow it to sweep this adjustment under the rug.
The star of the show for Chrysler has been its US sales, which saw a 10-percent jump, both bettering the industry average of eight percent and improving over the same stretch of 2012. As with the increase in transaction prices, Chrysler has the new Ram pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee to thank. Perhaps most worrying from this report, though, is that every brand in the automaker's stable saw an increase in sales... except for the Chrysler brand itself.
Chrysler is busy shuffling executives around in the wake of Ram head Fred Diaz's departure. The automaker has named Reid Bigland (pictured, right) as Diaz's successor in the role of president and CEO of Ram, though Bigland will continue his duties as the head of US sales and the president and CEO of Chrysler Canada. Bigland first came to Chrysler in 2006 from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, so the guy knows a thing or two about trucks.
Meanwhile, Timothy Kuniskis will take over as president and CEO of Dodge. Previously, he served as the head of Fiat in North America and has been with Chrysler in one capacity or another since 1992. His old title now falls to Jason Stoicevich, who will also continue to work as the director of the automaker's California Business Center. Finally, Bruno Cattori will take over as the president and CEO of Chrysler Mexico.
Diaz left his position to take over as a divisional vice president of sales and marketing with Nissan. You can read the full press release on the Chrysler personnel changes below for more information.
Even as fuel prices creep back up, trucks are still a hot item among new-vehicle shoppers. To see how popular pickup trucks still are, you don't have to look any further than how much effort automakers put into the continual one-upmanship of their trucks. Backing this fact up, USA Today is reporting that the segment could top two million sales this year - a total not matched since 2007, though still far from the pre-recession, three-million-unit levels.
Through August, the Ford F-Series continues to be the segment leader with almost 500,000 units sold, but the Chevy Silverado (328,269), Ram 1500 (234,642), GMC Sierra (122,232) and Toyota Tacoma (110,293) are all seeing at least 20-percent sales increases, helping to account for around 1.44 million truck sales so far this year - not including possible outliers like the Suzuki Equator and Chevy Avalanche.
This year alone, General Motors has completely redesigned its fullsize trucks, Ram and Toyota have significantly updated their offerings, the next-gen Ford F-150 will be out next year and Nissan is promising an all-new Titan around the same time with an eventual Cummins diesel under the hood. It would seem, then, that truck sales are poised to continue their upward trend.