Chrysler is the "fastest growing" automaker in the U.S., but despite a 32 percent jump in profit this quarter, the company isn't out of the woods yet. While boosted by Ram pickup, Jeep SUV and Chrysler 200 sales, Chrysler still earns less than competitors General Motors and Ford, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based carmaker on Wednesday posted a net income of $611 million for the third quarter of 2014, which compares with $464 million in the same period last year.
"Chrysler, under Sergio Marchionne and Fiat's stewardship, is growing faster than any other U.S. automaker," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, as quoted by the Free Press. "It controls more market share than it did before the recession in 2007, the result of a 55-month streak of sales growth."
Chrysler's profit leap has stunned analysts; however, the company is still behind its rivals. Profit as a percentage of sales for Chrysler was at 4.6 percent for the third quarter, while GM reported 9.5 percent for its North American division and Ford posted 7.1 percent for its operations in North America.
The ambitious automaker has high expectations going forward in spite of its relatively high marketing costs, as Chrysler sells fewer vehicles compared with its competitors.
"Clearly, we are the fastest growing manufacturer at the moment in the U.S. marketplace," said CFO Richard Palmer, as quoted by the Free Press. "As we upgrade our vehicle portfolio, we continue to focus on growing the market share, and improving our price position as we upgrade our products."
In the third quarter, Chrysler sold more than 711,000 new vehicles, an 18 percent increase year over year. Net revenue for the first nine months of this year was $60.1 billion, up from $50.9 billion the previous year.
American-born Chrysler merged with Italian automaker Fiat in January to become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.