Category Archives: Sales

Dodge leaving Australia

Dodge is leaving Australia, according to FCA Australia CEO Steve Zanlunghi, who took office around two months ago.  The Dodge Journey will be sold for the near future but then dropped.

Mr. Zanlunghi did say that they might still look at importing other Dodge vehicles, possibly including the “Dodge Ram,” in the future.  Currently, the Journey is the only Dodge sold in the country, despite the popularity of the old Valiant Charger (shown below).  The sole Chrysler in Australia is the 300, in standard and SRT forms.

FCA’s sales in Australia were rising fairly quickly, but recently plunged as currency changes took effect.  Dodge sold just 28 Journeys in August; Chrysler sold 34 300s, in contrast. Alfa Romeo actually outsold both (41).  Jeep is the sales leader for FCA, as usual, with 1,208 sales — but even Jeep was down 40%, troubled by a low-reliability image and dealership issues. Less expensive Jeeps imported from India may increase their popularity in the future; Australia currently sees the entire Jeep line. All of FCA’s sales combined don’t quite reach either of the two top-sellers — Toyota Corolla (3,554) and HiLux (3,311). Toyota’s sales were 18,560 for the month.

Australia is far closer to Japan and South Korea than to the United States, and has moved from almost entirely GM-Ford-Chrysler products to a heavy reliance on Asia-Pacifica cars and trucks.

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Much ado about not much

Last month, Jeep sales missed their mark for the first time since September 2013 and questions are already flying about possible troubles ahead for America’s top-selling SUV brand.


While the doomsayers all note that one month doesn’t make a trend, they seem to imply that it does. But there are a number of factors that indicate their warnings should be taken with enough salt to induce high blood pressure.

September Jeep sales came in less than 2.7% behind the same month last year, but the shortfall is only a warning if it is taken out of context. September 2015 was a tough month to follow because year-over-year (YOY) sales had rocketed up by 42% — the highest YOY growth month in the entire year, beating even the December spike.


Jeep wasn’t alone in September; crossovers and SUVs gave up market share industry-wide, compared with August. Jeep sales were down 2.7%, but Ford utility sales were off by 3.2%, with double-digit drops in sales of the Escape and Explorer. GMC utility sales tumbled by 13.5%, wiping out a mild gain for Chevrolet and leaving General Motors in the red as well.

Based on trends from similar years, we haven’t yet seen anything to justify concern. Jeep sales may be soft again in October, but should still finish the year ahead of 2015.

In the longer term, Jeep sales may fall, but most likely it will be part of an industry-wide drop as the market enters a long-overdue correction.

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Jeep’s Euro surge

After months of coming tantalizingly close, Jeep European registrations finally topped the 10,000 mark in September. Deliveries rose by 21%, hitting 10,386 sales, according to figures from ACEA, the European auto manufacturers’ trade group.


Jeep had its best sales month ever in the United Kingdom, where registrations have also soared 38% in the first three quarters of this year. France, Italy, and Spain all reported double-digit gains; Germany was the only major market to come up short.

As usual, the Renegade claimed the lion’s share of registrations — around three-quarters of the brand’s total. Combined with the 9,700 Fiat 500X sales, the siblings made up 19% of FCA’s regional sales last month.

Total FCA registrations increased 14% in September, well ahead of the industry total. All five brands were higher for September and year-to-date; Maserati reported the most growth, rising by 48% to 927 cars registered.

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Deeper into Canada

FCA Canada released a corrected sales chart today, which brings up the question of “what can we learn?”

First, there is the primacy of Ram; the pickups, together, accounted for 70,865 sales year to date, greater than the totals for Dodge or Jeep as entire brands.  Pickup sales were down by 1%, while van sales were down by 4%. (All numbers in this text are year-to-date.) Still, vans — whether ProMaster or ProMaster City — are not  a major seller for FCA Canada … except minivans.

2016 Ram 1500 and Case CNH

Dodge has long been the biggest seller of minivans in Canada, by a massive margin. So far this year, they’ve sold 40,652 Caravans; the second best selling FCA vehicle, other than pickups, was the Jeep Cherokee, with just 24,457. That’s a big margin. The Pacifica and Town & Country combines yielded just 4,288 sales — far under 7,438 Town & Country sales last year.

Chrysler sales were down across the board, by 34%, with the Town & Country naturally being the largest drop followed by the 200 (37%). Dodge sales were mixed, with the Caravan and Durango doing well, but Journey and all cars except Challenger down. No Dodge or Chrysler sedan or coupe sold over the 200’s 5,693 cars; the brands’ cars have been hit hard this year.


Over at Jeep, the Cherokee was king last year and it remains so this year. Wrangler is again #2, with 15,421 sales so far this year — down 9%. The Grand Cherokee leaped up by 38% (Durango by 77%), to 11,864 sales. The Patriot, Compass, and Renegade — in order of sales — are all minor players.

Fiat just about disappeared from the face of the map, with all Fiats and Alfa Romeos sold in Canada combined coming in at about half the sales of the Jeep Compass. The 500 sold in triple digits, down 70%, while the 500L dropped 86%. The 500X could claim success with a 44% hike, but only 636 were sold in around ten months. Finally, Fiat 124 fans may be interested to know that 169 were sold.

Model Sept 2016 Jan-Sept 2016
FCA CANADA 19,639 219,658
Compass 149 3,409
Patriot 584 6762
Wrangler 1,476 15,421
Cherokee 2,357 24,457
Grand Cherokee 735 11,864
Renegade 299 3,157
JEEP 5,600 65,070
200 305 5,692
300 64 3,133
Town & Country 23 2,863
Pacifica 501 1,425
CHRYSLER 893 13,114
Dart 94 1,132
Avenger 0 0
Charger 159 3,023
Challenger 200 2,764
Viper 0 46
Journey 1,199 12,759
Caravan 3,942 40,652
Durango 395 5,133
DODGE 5,989 65,509
Ram Pickup 6,655 70,865
Cargo Van 0 0
ProMaster Van 144 1,875
ProMaster City 188 1,348
RAM 6,987 74,088
Alfa 4C 1 71
Fiat 500 60 765
500L 8 236
500X 38 636
Spider 63 169
Fiat+Alfa 170 1,877
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Canadian sales dove

While GM and Ford had a good month in Canada, it was at the expense of Fiat Chrysler, which saw sales plummet by 18%, falling from last year’s 23,979 September sales to just 19,639.


Pacifica watchers may be happy to see sales up 25%, but that just totals 501 minivans, versus 3,942 Caravans, and appears to be lower than last year’s Town & Country sales.

The company released model-by-model sales figures, which in the past were generally left out of Canadian news releases:

Model Sept 2016 Jan-Sept 2016
FCA CANADA 19,639 200,019
Compass 149 3,263
Patriot 584 6,203
Wrangler 1,476 14,098
Cherokee 2,357 22,151
Grand Cherokee 735 11,239
Renegade 299 2,858
JEEP 5,600 59,470
200 305 5,418
300 64 3,106
Town & Country 23 2,840
Pacifica 501 945
CHRYSLER 893 12,221
Dart 94 1,038
Avenger 0 0
Charger 159 2,982
Challenger 200 2,565
Viper 0 46
Journey 1,199 11,691
Caravan 3,942 37,013
Durango 395 5,037
DODGE 5,989 59,520
Ram Pickup 6,655 64,210
Cargo Van 0 0
ProMaster Van 144 1,810
ProMaster City 188 1,249
RAM 6,987 67,101
Alfa 4C 1 70
Fiat 500 60 705
500L 8 228
500X 38 600
Spider 63 106
Fiat+Alfa 170 1,707
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Ram jumped as Jeep stumbled

Jeep sales fell 3% last month, along with every FCA US brand except Ram. FCA US sales fell by 1% overall, despite a 23% increase in incentive spending that took FCA’s average to $4,302, the highest of the major automakers.


The domestic brands only fell by 0.3%, but Fiat brands plunged by 30%.  Car sales dropped by a full quarter (25%), while minivan deliveries fell by 6%. Crossover and SUV sales declined by 3%, with only the Dodge Journey, Jeep Grand Cherokee. and Jeep Patriot beating their numbers from last September.

The bright spot was a 29% jump in Ram pickup sales; there was also a 17% gain in deliveries of the ProMaster van, and, ironically (given higher incentives), an estimated 4% increase in average transaction prices.

FCA is still king of the hill when it comes to crossover and SUV sales. and Jeep is still the best-selling crossover-SUV brand. The company’s domestic brands even gained market share, as the overall market fell by 0.7%.  Ford dropped by 8% and GM was essentially stable, with a 0.6% fall. Honda stayed within 100 sales of September 2015, and Toyota gained 1.5%.

Fleet sales accounted for 24% of FCA sales last month.

Despite the drop, 2016, as a whole, should still see more FCA US sales than 2015; year-to-date deliveries remain 4% ahead of 2015 year-to-date.

 U.S. Sales Sept 16 Sept 15 Change YTD 2016 YTD 2015 Change
Chrysler 200 3,185 9,944 -68% 48,959 138,536 -65%
Chrysler 300 5,459 6,606 -17% 44,040 39,810 11%
Chrysler Pacifica 9,172 0 NEW 35,572 0 NEW
Chrysler Town & Country 981 9,249 -89% 57,926 62,085 -7%
Chrysler 18,797 25,799 -27% 186,497 240,431 -22%
Dodge Avenger 2 38 -95% 44 1,257 -96%
Dodge Challenger 5,698 4,771 19% 51,141 52,228 -2%
Dodge Charger 10,056 7,466 35% 72,270 72,583 0%
Dodge Dart 2,597 7,096 -63% 37,267 68,320 -45%
Dodge Viper 38 50 -24% 447 521 -14%
Dodge Grand Caravan 8,179 9,941 -18% 102,732 65,383 57%
Dodge Durango 4,274 4,703 -9% 53,093 46,119 15%
Dodge Journey 12,091 11,442 6% 77,946 82,035 -5%
Dodge 42,935 45,507 -6% 394,940 388,446 2%
Jeep Cherokee 17,995 20,484 -12% 158,346 160,341 -1%
Jeep Compass 6,482 7,701 -16% 72,916 48,192 51%
Jeep Grand Cherokee 18,507 15,715 18% 153,926 141,679 9%
Jeep Patriot 12,316 9,280 33% 96,039 89,666 7%
Jeep Renegade 6,776 7,774 -13% 77,252 36,513 112%
Jeep Wrangler 14,255 17,486 -18% 148,627 157,255 -5%
Jeep 76,331 78,440 -3% 707,106 633,646 12%
Cargo Van 0 9 Disc. 21 2,146 Disc.
ProMaster City 856 920 -7% 12,649 5,369 136%
ProMaster Van 3,218 2,762 17% 26,544 19,225 38%
Pickup 47,792 37,004 29% 361,086 333,537 8%
Ram 51,866 40,695 27% 400,300 360,277 11%
Chrysler Brands 189,929 190,441 -0.3% 1,688,843 1,622,800 4%
Giulia 7 0 NEW 7 0 NEW
Romeo 4C 34 56 -39% 411 511 -20%
Alfa Romeo Brand 41 56 -27% 418 511 -18%
124 Spider 490 0 NEW 1,431 0 NEW
500 1,481 1,981 -25% 11,603 20,089 -42%
500L 103 332 -69% 2,801 6,754 -59%
500X 839 1,856 -55% 9,264 4,170 122%
Fiat 2,913 4,169 -30% 25,099 31,013 -19%
Fiat Brands 2,954 4,225 -30% 25,517 31,524 -19%
TOTAL 192,883 194,666 -1% 1,714,360 1,654,324 4%
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Renegade pushed EU Jeep rise

The Renegade was the key to double-digit growth for the Jeep brand in Europe in July and August, according to European automaker group ACEA.

The Renegade accounted for more than 62% of Jeeps registered during July and August. [Due to summer holidays the ACEA does not report July registrations separately.]


In year-to-date (YTD) numbers, nearly three of every four new Jeeps registered in Europe this year was a Renegade.

Jeep sales rose 13% in July, to 8,279, and soared 30% in August, typically a slow month in Europe, with 6,313.  Year to date numbers were 22% ahead of the first eight months of 2015.

Through the end of August, FCA led GM in European deliveries, and had the strongest growth of any of the major players.

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Bigland in the crosshairs?

FCA US sales chief Reid Bigland is now a key target in the government’s investigation of the company’s sales figures, according to Bloomberg News.  The Justice Department is reportedly trying to find out how much Mr. Bigland knew about FCA’s sales reporting inaccuracies, as the executive who signed key Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents on behalf of the company.

Reid Bigland is also the head of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, which are key to FCA’s future. The company has spent billions to revive both brands; Alfa Romeo and Dodge will standardize on common engineering in future cars.

FCA has been accused of encouraging dealers to report bogus sales, to preserve its “winning streak.” The sales mis-reporting does not appear to have extended to financials, but could give investors (and car buyers) a misleading view of FCA’s success.

Automotive News sources claimed that dealers could be contacted and told that the “Department of Unnatural Acts” was “open for business,” if they needed to pad their sales. The industry weekly also wrote that their dealer sources said they had been told to make false sales, with the names of salesmen and their relatives on the paperwork. [Full story]


FCA’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, has said publicly that the sales reporting system was an inheritance from the old Chrysler Corporation, and that its maladies dated back to the 1980s. This does not address the allegations listed by Automotive News.

Mr. Bigland is being personally examined as a matter of Justice Department policy, established due to complaints that executives were not being held accountable for wrongdoing they condoned or ignored.

Bloomberg reported that Mr. Bigland,  FCA, and the Justice Department all declined to comment.

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August by the numbers

While industrywide sales dipped a bit in August, there was some good news, especially for Mopar fans.

Fiat Chrysler was the only one of the Detroit automakers to beat its August 2015 numbers. In fact, FCA was the only major car company to advance. Ford sales swooned last month as the folks in Dearborn reported their largest drop in several years. General Motors continues to trade volume for profit by cutting fleet sales and is now 4.2% behind in year-to-date deliveries.


Jeep remained the best-selling utility brand. In fact, August Jeep sales came within 690 units of equaling GM’s total utility deliveries.

The Cherokee was fifth out of 104 crossovers and SUVs with sales reported for August. The Grand Cherokee was seventh and the Wrangler was tenth.

Jeep is the #6 brand by sales volume but every brand ahead of it has passenger cars, vans, and pickups. Jeep does it all with crossovers and SUVs.

Ram pickup sales were down slightly, but that’s actually not too bad. Sales of full-size pickups dropped 5.6% last month, and the Ram’s 0.3% deficit was the smallest of the bunch.  For the first eight months of 2016, the Ram is second only to the Ford F-series in sales gains.

Ram ProMaster vans had a good month. August sales rose 25.4% and year-to-date (YTD) turnover is up 52.5%, the largest increase of any commercial van line. The ProMasters are now ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Nissan in both monthly and YTD sales.


Success in commercial van sales may not sound like much; they only account for about 2.5% of total light vehicle sales. However, vans made up August’s fastest-growing market segment.

The Dodge Grand Caravan was the best-selling minivan last month, beating the Toyota Sienna by 290 units. The Grand Caravan has the lead for the year by a slightly more comfortable margin. FCA minivans took a 42.2% piece of the total minivan pie last month.

FCA cars don’t get much respect, but Dodge was the third-best-selling American car brand in August and Chrysler had more car sales than Cadillac or Lincoln. The Charger was the best-selling full-size sedan and the Challenger was just 342 sales behind the Camaro.

The Chrysler 300 was 409 deliveries behind the Chevy Impala and ahead of every car from Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln.

Now the not-so-good news:

FCA had the highest percentage of fleet sales with 23.7% of total volume going to mostly daily rental fleets. Ford saw its fleet share drop 10% to 21.5% and GM said that just 17% of its turnover went to fleets.


FCA saw the second-largest jump in estimated average transaction prices (ATP). FCA’s August ATP was $35,455, up 3.4% from last August. That should be good news but incentives took a big bite out of that, climbing 15.6% to an estimated $4,146. Incentives accounted for about 12.5% of the average transaction price last month.

High fleet sales and big spending on incentives are both going to eat away at the margins that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to increase. When supplies of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart run out, that should help the bottom line somewhat but the new products that Marchionne has delayed would help even more.

When Automotive News presented its list of winners and losers for August, FCA didn’t have a brand in the winners column. It did, however, have four of the five biggest losers.  Alfa Romeo led the list, with Maserati coming in third, Chrysler fourth and Fiat fifth.

Had the Automotive News list been a bit longer, Jeep would have been on it. Jeep was seventh in August sales growth.

Note: FCA issued a revised sales chart to to correct errors in the year-to-date entries. The revised chart can be found in Dave Zatz’s article on August sales.

[Allpar analysis based on data compiled from manufacturer reports.]

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