We are working on a sales streak of 34-consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains that we are very proud of here at Chrysler Group. Our head of U.S. sales likes to refer to it as the 34-consecutive month “ironman” streak.

Our sales streak started in April 2010, when Chrysler Group reported a 25% year-over-year sales increase; just 10 months after Chrysler Group began operations in June 2009.

Naturally, there have been bumps along the way, and this first quarter of 2013 is a case in point. While we hope we will extend our sales streak in February to 35-consecutive months, our sales and shipment volumes for the first quarter are being negatively affected by the ongoing product launches of and launch preparations for our new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Liberty replacement, the Jeep Compass and Patriot and our new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty truck line.

Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne noted in a year-end earnings call that “the performance of Chrysler first quarter of 2013 is expected to be lower than it was in 2012, and it’s purely because of product launches. It’s a Q1 event.”

Production of the Jeep Liberty ended in August, the Jeep Grand Cherokee plant in Detroit was down for a week in January for model changeover, and production of our Ram Heavy Duty truck line just recently started in Mexico. Because of these important launches, production of these three models was significantly down in January compared with the same month in 2012. Monthly Jeep brand sales have been down year-over-year in recent months due to these product launches.

While everyone here is rooting for our sales streak to continue during this first quarter of 2013, what’s more important are the flawless launches of our new Grand Cherokee, the Liberty replacement, and the Ram Heavy Duty trucks. If we can keep the streak going, then all the better.