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Chrysler March Vehicle Production Declines 5.6%

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April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, said its March production slipped 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 208,043 cars and light trucks.

First-quarter output also declined from the same period in 2012, falling 5.7 percent to 568,905, according to a chart attached to a statement on Chrysler’s website.

Chrysler is preparing to introduce the Cherokee, a Jeep sport-utility vehicle that replaces the Liberty, and is bringing out redesigned versions of the Grand Cherokee and Compass SUVs. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company has said those changes caused lower Jeep sales early this year. Jeep brand sales slid 12 percent in the first quarter.

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler and Fiat, is relying on the U.S. company to sustain losses at Fiat’s mass-market brands in Europe.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Koenig in Southfield, Michigan at wkoenig@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Koenig at wkoenig@bloomberg.net

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