Chrysler’s February sales jump 40% on car surge

Chrysler Group, helped by a surge in car demand, said its U.S. sales increased 40 percent in February, marking its 23rd straight monthly gain.

The automaker said sales were driven by a 126 percent increase in car deliveries, a more fuel-efficient model lineup, notably the Fiat 500, and continued strong demand for its Jeep and Ram truck lineups.

The Fiat brand had its best sales month since its launch, Chrysler said, with deliveries of the 500 up 69 percent to 3,227 units in February.

"A few years ago higher fuel prices were a major threat to our total vehicle sales whereas today those higher prices have become far less of an issue," Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, said in a statement.

The automaker continues to benefit from refreshed sedans and crossovers, as well.

The Chrysler brand posted a sales gain of 114 percent last month, with sales of the 200 and 300 sedans each advancing 315 percent or more.

Chrysler also offered the highest incentives per model — an average $3,251 — last month among major automakers, online shopping guide says.

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