Super-Chrysler-Chart-Web
According to information just released, Chrysler Group sold more cars and trucks than Toyota, including Lexus and Scion.

Based on the data received at this time, Chrysler is the No. 3 automaker  for the month.

SEPTEMBER SALES
General Motors 223,437
Ford Motor Company 180,175
Chrysler Group 169,890
Toyota Motor Sales 167,279
American Honda 118,223
Nissan North America 102,955

Chrysler-0914-Chart-Web
Chrysler sold 169,890 cars and trucks in September, an improvement of 19% over September 2013. That not only beat analysts’ estimates (again), but marks the company’s best September since 2005 and the third-best September of the 21st Century. Only Septembers 2000 and 2005 had higher volumes.

The Chrysler, Jeep, Ram Truck, and Fiat brands all advanced in September, led by Jeep’s 47% increase. Last month was Jeep’s best September ever.

“Continued consumer demand for our new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, our Jeep models, and the Ram pickup truck helped Chrysler Group achieve a 19% sales increase in September and our 54th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales.

The Chrysler 200, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler, and Ram pickup all set new September sales records. The Town & Country minivan had its best September sales in eight years.

Light trucks accounted for 76.8% of total sales. That’s the highest percentage of any September in 15 years.

Fiat 500L sales have resumed, following a July recall.

While still a relatively light seller, Ram ProMaster has surged to nearly triple the sales of the Ram Cargo Van. It also outsold the new Ford Transit van and the Nissan NV in September.

Chrysler finished September with 500,502 units in inventory, equal to a 71-day supply of inventory.

UNITED STATES SALES: SEPTEMBER 2014 AND YTD
Brand and Model Sept ’14 Sept ’13 Change YTD 2014 YTD 2013 Change
Chrysler 200 10,995 9,583 15% 75,142 102,859 -27%
Chrysler 300 4,757 5,036 -6% 39,584 44,186 -10%
Chrysler Town & Country 13,029 10,632 23% 108,340 90,701 19%
CHRYSLER BRAND 28,781 25,251 14% 223,066 237,746 -6%
Dodge Dart 6,923 7,922 -13% 60,763 65,836 -8%
Dodge Avenger 1,677 5,099 -67% 49,363 78,599 -37%
Dodge Charger 8,624 8,713 -1% 72,141 73,342 -2%
Dodge Challenger 3,619 3,932 -8% 38,376 42,577 -10%
Dodge Viper 108 45 140% 546 426 28%
Dodge Journey 7,230 6,955 4% 70,686 64,789 9%
Dodge Caravan 11,275 10,946 3% 104,071 91,570 14%
Dodge Durango 4,564 4,964 -8% 48,011 44,650 8%
DODGE  BRAND 44,020 48,576 -9% 443,957 461,834 -4%
Jeep Compass 4,666 4,487 4% 47,918 41,736 15%
Jeep Patriot 9,117 6,053 51% 69,958 58,910 19%
Jeep Wrangler 13,955 11,984 16% 134,068 119,941 12%
Jeep Liberty 0 34 Disc. 0 6,101 Disc.
Jeep Cherokee 14,639 0 NEW 128,133 0 NEW
Jeep Grand Cherokee 12,854 14,906 -14% 136,310 128,697 6%
JEEP BRAND 55,231 37,464 47% 516,387 355,385 45%
Ram Pickup, Chassis Cab 36,612 28,145 30% 319,868 262,787 22%
Ram Cargo Van 478 424 13% 7,290 6,509 12%
Ram ProMaster Van 1,408 0 NEW 9,990 0 NEW
RAM BRAND 38,498 28,569 35% 337,148 269,296 25%
Fiat 500 2,737 2,126 29% 26,616 28,994 -8%
Fiat 500L 623 1,031 -40% 8,885 3,748 137%
FIAT BRAND 3,360 3,157 6% 35,501 32,742 8%
TOTAL CHRYSLER GROUP 169,890 143,017 19% 1,556,059 1,357,003 15%
TOTAL CAR 39,440 42,456 -7% 362,531 436,864 -17%
TOTAL TRUCK 130,450 100,561 30% 1,193,528 920,139 30%

Chrysler-September-Sales-Web
Last month, Chrysler reported its best August sales since 2002. Adding some perspective, August 2014 was the company’s third-best August since the beginning of the 21st Century.

Using the analysts’ more modest predictions of 168,000 sales for September 2014, this month would be the best September since 2006 but only the fifth-highest volume September since 2000.

However, if Chrysler can stretch and add 900 sales to the predicted tally, September 2014 would become the best since 2004 and the third-best since 2000.

Chrysler Septembers
Year Cars Trucks Total
2000 60,282 159,684 219,966
2001 47,376 104,789 152,165
2002 50,408 114,989 165,397
2003 38,917 108,197 147,114
2004 50,544 118,200 168,744
2005 59,744 115,812 175,556
2006 47,089 121,799 168,888
2007 49,512 110,287 159,799
2008 33,504 73,845 107,349
2009 18,064 44,133 62,197
2010 30,285 69,792 100,077
2011 33,217 94,117 127,334
2012 42,050 99,991 142,041
2013 42,456 100,561 143,017

The car in the graph is the 2000 Plymouth Breeze. September 2000 was the last September for the Breeze, with 254 sales; the car had already ended production. The last 127 Breezes were sold in January 2001. The last Plymouth was a Neon made on June 28, 2001.

Dodge’s use of Cummins diesels back  in 1989 succeeded beyond expectations, reviving a nearly dead truck line. When the company added a VM diesel to the Ram 1500, sales were, again, much better than expected. Chrysler had predicted a 10% take rate, perhaps up to 15%; but Allpar reported in August that the line was running up to 25% diesels when the engines were available.

Like the Cummins B-series engines, the VM has been both reputable and technologically advanced; and sales have exceeded expectations.

Ram announced today that 20% of its pickups would be diesel-powered by November, double its original estimates. This strains VM’s ability to make enough engines for North American Rams and Jeep Grand Cherokees, though Ram worked with VM Motori to raise production.

When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram had over 8,000 requests in three days. Some had predicted lower sales, because the diesel is a $4,000 option on the value-priced Tradesman Quad Cab, and requires the $500 eight-speed automatic.

Diesel Ram 1500s are rated at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, which beats the fuel economy of every competing pickup — and some midsized and compact trucks, down to imported four-cylinder manuals. The engine  generates 420 lb-ft of torque and 240 hp and is highly responsive at low revolutions. The peak towing capacity is 9,200 pounds.

Helping to optimize performance, given the limited range of diesel engines, is the wide-range “TorqueFlite Eight” eight-speed automatic.

Dodge had been planning a Ram 1500 with a Cummins V6 diesel as far back as the Daimler days, but no other manufacturer chose to sell a full sized diesel pickup in America.  (Chrysler has worked with VM since 1992.)

“Being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment was shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” said Ram chief  Robert Hegbloom, adding that nearly 60% of sales were conquests from other brands, unusual in pickups.

Other unique features in the Ram 1500 series (not on all trucks) include a fluid temperature management system, various methods of cutting parasitic losses, and active aerodynamics aids.

The Ram 1500 earned Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in both 2013 and 2014, the first time a vehicle of any type has taken the award back-to-back. The Ram 1500 also won the Truck of Texas in both 2013 and 2014.

The 2015 Ram 1500 is backed with a five-year /100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty including free towing, if needed, and a three-year / 36,000-mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan); Regular Cab models are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

Ram opened its plant to select journalists recently. Chris Chrouch took a number of stills, along with the following video; the full story and photography of numerous parts of the assembly line are at our Warren Truck Plant Tour page.

Sales-Cartoon-Web
September sales figures will be released Wednesday, but the analysts have already placed their bets, predicting a solid month for new light vehicle sales.

Chrysler should tack on another month of improved sales. The average prediction calls for 167,000 sales, up 16.8%, with market share increasing by 0.8 percentage points to roughly 13.4%.

Industry sales are seen rising nearly 10%, based on the average of the three estimates.

Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell commented: “September sales are consistent with the strength we’ve seen most of this year. But the topline sales aren’t as interesting as the ways in which shoppers have driven those sales. Buyers have been able to secure low financing deals and have responded to lease offers in record numbers. These are behaviors that bode well for the continued strength of new car sales.”

“Following an extraordinarily strong month of sales in August, with the industry above 17 million SAAR for the first time in eight years, Kelley Blue Book expects sales to level out in September,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Sales will remain strong and show healthy year-over-year improvement. Rising incentive spend in recent months has been more than offset by increasing retail transaction prices, signaling continued consumer demand.”

“We expect another strong month for the industry with the best September since 2007,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “Incentive spending has tapered off from August, a month where we found increases attributable to shifts in segment mix, model year clearance and holiday events. September incentive spending and transaction price growth are at healthy levels.”

While they don’t forecast by manufacturer, J.D. Power/LMC Automotive is looking for a more modest 5% increase. John Humphrey, senior v-p at J.D. Power noted, “Vehicle sales typically fall sharply immediately following the Labor Day holiday before recovering later in the month, but the decline this September has been smaller than in prior years. While the strong sales pace is an indicator of the health of the industry, it is being complemented by record transaction prices for the month of September.”

The analysts are looking for about 16.4 million sales in 2014, which is consistent with Allpar’s estimate.

THE SEERS SPEAK: SEPTEMBER 2014 SALES FORECASTS
Edmunds.com Sales Volume Market Share
Manufacturer Sep-14 Sep-13 Change Sep-14 Sep-13 Change
Chrysler Group 165,004 143,017 15.4% 13.08% 12.59% 0.49%
Ford Motor Company 177,310 184,452 -3.9% 14.06% 16.23% -2.18%
General Motors 228,801 187,195 22.2% 18.14% 16.48% 1.66%
American Honda 128,895 105,563 22.1% 10.22% 9.29% 0.93%
Hyundai-Kia 101,260 86,868 16.6% 8.03% 7.65% 0.38%
Nissan North America 99,919 93,105 7.3% 7.92% 8.19% -0.27%
Toyota Motor Company 175,776 164,457 6.9% 13.94% 14.47% -0.54%
Volkswagen Group 45,332 44,985 0.8% 3.59% 3.96% -0.37%
Total Industry 1,261,380 1,136,214 11.0% N/A N/A N/A
Kelley Blue Book Sales Volume Market Share
Manufacturer Sep-14 Sep-13 Change Sep-14 Sep-13 Change
Chrysler Group 168,000 143,017 17.5% 13.55% 12.59% 0.96%
Ford Motor Company 180,000 184,452 -2.4% 14.52% 16.23% -1.72%
General Motors 217,000 187,195 15.9% 17.50% 16.47% 1.03%
American Honda 118,000 105,563 11.8% 9.52% 9.29% 0.23%
Hyundai-Kia 103,000 93,105 10.6% 8.31% 8.19% 0.11%
Nissan North America 102,000 86,868 17.4% 8.23% 7.65% 0.58%
Toyota Motor Company 176,000 164,457 7.0% 14.19% 14.47% -0.28%
Volkswagen Group 50,000 48,127 3.9% 4.03% 4.24% -0.20%
Total Industry 1,240,000 1,136,240 9.1% N/A N/A N/A
TrueCar.com Sales Volume Market Share
Manufacturer Sep-14 Sep-13 Change Sep-14 Sep-13 Change
Chrysler Group 168,000 143,017 17.5% 13.45% 12.56% 0.89%
Ford Motor Company 175,000 184,452 -5.1% 14.01% 16.20% -2.19%
General Motors 225,000 187,195 20.2% 18.01% 16.44% 1.57%
American Honda 120,000 105,563 13.7% 9.61% 9.27% 0.34%
Hyundai-Kia 104,000 86,868 19.7% 8.33% 7.63% 0.70%
Nissan North America 100,000 93,105 7.4% 8.01% 8.18% -0.17%
Toyota Motor Company 171,000 164,457 4.0% 13.69% 14.44% -0.75%
Volkswagen Group 45,000 44,895 0.2% 3.60% 3.94% -0.34%
Total Industry 1,249,000 1,138,560 9.7% N/A N/A N/A

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