May sales in the U.S. fell more than 25% for Chrysler compared to 2007 levels, but the company's sales outside the North American market have been on the upswing for 36 consecutive months. The growth is modest, but steady, and shows the company is capable of drawing new customers despite tough market conditions.

Total sales outside North America for May were up 5% to 21,505 units with year-to-date sales up 7% to 98,188 units, according to IT News. Jim Press thinks the strong international sales bodes well for business at home, too, explaining that as Chrysler's business moves toward more globally targeted and fuel efficient platforms, sales of its cars will improve everywhere they are sold.

The Dodge Caliber is Chrysler's highest-volume seller outside North America this year. Dodge-brand cars in general are Chrysler's strongest overseas sellers, with the marque up 40% in the first five months of 2008, compared to a 6% rise at Jeep and a 10% decline of Chrysler-branded vehicles.

The strongest international markets for Chrysler included Russia, where sales rose 107% over 2007 levels, the UK with a 20% rise and the Asia-Pacific region, up 39%.