The European Automobile Manufacturers Association reported registrations of 9,883 new Jeeps in June, fifteen cars closer to the 10,000 mark than in May and 16% ahead of June 2015 sales. Year-to-date registrations rose by nearly 23%, to 55,171 vehicles.
Jeep sales were up in all major markets, shooting up by 61% in the United Kingdom. Sales also grew by 26% in Germany and 20% in Italy.
Jeep Renegade sales were up nearly 30%, to over 7,000 units, keeping its place as one of the top ten compact utilities in Europe and making it the clear driver of Jeep’s growth on the continent.
FCA saw a 13% rise in registrations in June, outpacing the industry’s 7% growth. Alfa Romeo, whose Giulia is now on sale throughout Europe, was up by 23%, to 6,690. The core Fiat brand grew by 14% and retained leadership in the A (smallest-car) segment; the 500L, which FCA US couldn’t give away with green stamps in the US, is the the best-selling small MPV in Europe, with a market share of nearly 30%.
The 500X is now one of the top four compact utilities in Europe. Combined with the Renegade, sales of the Melfi twins totaled more than 18,000 in June.
Maserati sales were up 8% in June but still trail 2015 in year-to-date numbers. Lancia was the sole loser in the lineup, with registrations down more than 9%.
FCA finished third in the June light truck sales race. It’s a letdown from the past couple of months, but some perspective is needed.
Last June, General Motors sold 37,307 more crossovers, SUVs, vans and pickups than FCA. This year, FCA slashed that margin by more than 90%, to 3,640. The gap between FCA and Ford was cut 84%, going from 7,956 to 1,245.
For the first half of the year, FCA light truck sales grew more than 20% while Ford’s growth was just over half that, at 11%. FCA leads Ford in total light truck deliveries for the first six months of 2016. GM remains the overall leader but its January-June truck sales were actually down more than 2%.
While it had to settle for third place in total truck sales, FCA dominated in utilities and minivans
In the key utility segment, FCA reigned supreme last month. Jeep finished June 8,414 sales ahead of Ford and Lincoln’s combined SUV sales, and just 2,426 sales behind the GM’s four brands. Adding in the Dodge Durango, Dodge Journey, and Fiat 500X, FCA utility sales came in 15,012 ahead of GM, and 25,852 ahead of Ford.
As of the end of June, FCA is 65,494 sales ahead of GM and 131,229 in front of Ford in total utility sales.
The Wrangler’s record month jumped it to fifth out of 105 crossovers and SUVs; the only American-badged utility to beat the Wrangler’s numbers was the Ford Escape. Jeep, as a whole, is the sixth-best-selling brand in the U.S., and the top all-truck brand.
It may be a matter of time before crossovers and SUVs become the dominant industry segment. Last month, traditional cars dropped below 40% of the market for the first time in memory. The car share was 39.4%; the crossover/SUV share was 39.2%. The margin between the two segments was just 3,332 vehicles.
The Chrysler Pacifica, Town & Country, and the Dodge Grand Caravan accounted for 46% of total minivan sales in June. Number One is a good place to be right now: minivans had the highest growth of any major segment. The Caravan led the segment.
While combined U.S. sales of the Pacifica and Town & Country were slightly higher than the Caravan’s, in Canada, the Caravan beat the combined sales of the two Chrysler-brand minivans by a margin of 22 to 1.
While FCA is moving the metal, it’s paying a hefty price. According to estimates from TrueCar.com, FCA had the highest incentives of any major automaker last month, averaging over $4,000 per sale. GM wasn’t far behind, and Ford upped its incentives by 35%.
European Jeep registration came within 132 units of hitting the 10,000 mark in May, reaching 9,868 — up 30% from May 2015. Registrations were up in all primary EU countries — France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Year to date, 45,268 new Jeeps have been registered in the EU, 24% more than in the first five months of 2015.
Around three quarters of these Jeeps are the new Renegade, whose sales shot up by nearly 53%. Combined with its Fiat clone, the 500X, the Melfi twins brought in more than 18% of total FCA deliveries.
FCA sales rose by more than 25%, outpacing Europe’s 16% growth. The Fiat brand rose by around 27%, to 74,519 in May; Lancia burst forward with a rise of nearly 32%. Alfa Romeo came up 59 cars short, a 1% decline with 5,522 deliveries, while Maserati was about even with 559, down from 562.
According to an FCA spokesman, FCA US tripled its sales to government fleets in May, explaining part of an increase in overall fleet sales from 18% in May 2015 to 26% last month.
Government fleet sales in May were led by the Ram 1500 and ProMaster, the Dodge Charger (heavily used by the police), Dodge Grand Caravan, and Chrysler 200.
The United States Postal Service has been buying Dodge minivans for some years now, and several Allpar members have reported seeing fleets of new ProMasters in use by the USPS as well.
Automotive News estimated that FCA’s retail sales have fallen nearly 9% in May, to 151,000 vehicles, down from 165,300 in May 2015. Fleet sales, which in FCA’s case are mostly rentals, exploded to 54,300, up nearly 45% from a year ago.
Automotive News estimated that fleet sales accounted for 26% of total FCA volume, up from 18% in May. An FCA spokesman explained that this is not necessarily unhealthy:
Our fleet sales are largely in line or below our cross-town rivals, both in May and 2016 year-to-date. Our fleet sales include commercial and government sales, and both of these segments were up significantly in May. Our sales to government fleets were up a strong 302%, while our commercial fleet sales improved 24% year over year in May. In addition, both segments are up year to date as well. We are focused on profitable growth, regardless of the channel.
FCA’s fleet sales, year to date, were estimated at 28% of total sales, up from to 22% last year. Fleet volume rose 36% to 268,800, the second-highest of the leading automakers. (The increasing ProMaster and ProMaster City account for around 22,000 sales year to date, up from around 12,000 in 2015, year to date.)
Hyundai and Kia, both of which reported new May records, were the most dependent on fleet volume. Combined fleet sales of the two brands zoomed up to 27% of total deliveries.
Ford’s retail sales fell 7%, and its fleets fell about 4%; Ford is the most fleet-dependent of the major automakers, and its fleet share was constant at 32% of the total.
General Motors took an unexpectedly large hit in retail volume, which dropped 13%. That, with a 32% plunge in fleet sales as GM cut back on rental sales, gave GM one of the worst May performances of any automaker.
For the second month in a row, FCA US sold more light trucks (minivans, vans, SUVs, and pickups) than Ford or General Motors.
The tally was 170,277 for FCA, 167,433 for Ford, and 166,647 for GM.
Even without the Fiat 500L and 500X, the Chrysler brands would have been the leader, with 168,693 light trucks delivered.
Jeep, by itself, outperformed total crossover/SUV sales from GM and Ford; its 90,545 sales easily cruised past GM’s 82,310 and Ford’s 78,006.
FCA Canada today reported the best monthly sales in the history of Maxwell Motors Canada, Chrysler Canada, DaimlerChrysler Canada, and FCA Canada, with sales of 31,724 vehicles in May 2016.
That’s just a 0.3% increase over May 2015 — 104 cars and trucks.
Year to date, sales are up by 3%, the best five months on record. FCA Canada claimed that they were still Canada’s top-selling automaker.
Jeep was as usual the star, with an all-time monthly sales record of 9,881 sales (up 4%); Ram has more sales but Jeep has more growth. The Jeep Grand Cherokee hit is own May sales record of 2,003, and remains Canada’s best-selling full-size SUV.
Canada’s best selling minivan, the Caravan, also set a May record with 6,169 sales — far ahead of last May’s 3,285.
The news in Mexico was not quite as positive, with just 7,254 sales all together, including Fiat, rebadged Fiats, Mitsubishis, and rebadged Mitsubishis. That’s down by 214 cars from May 2015.
Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, and Fiat all gained, but are light sellers at best. Dodge gained 21%; more than half of Dodge sales were the Attitude. Jeep came in with 969 sales, Mitsubishi with 1,209. Ram did well with 1,757 sales, more than half of which were the Fiat Strada in Ram 700 form).
Canada’s traditional best sales month is May; Mexico’s is December.
The former Chrysler, FCA US, sold 204,452 vehicles in May, up by 1.5% over May 2015 and the best May in 11 years.
Minivans were the key, with 10,040 more Town & Country, Pacifica and Grand Caravans sold — enough to cover other sales losses.
Jeep set an all-time record for monthly sales, thanks to popular small UVs — despite Wrangler falling by 12%. Ram squeaked by with 15 more deliveries, with a small shortfall in pickups made up by gains in commercial vans. Alfa Romeo logged four more 4Cs, and Fiat dropped by 19% with 500X gaining what 500L lost.
Chrysler sales took a big hit due to a 62% drop in sales of the 200, though the big 300 gained by 38% and the Town & Country shot up by 49% (last May, factory upgrades caused a brief minivan shortage).
A 48% plunge in Dart sales and 30% shortfall in Journeys dragged down Dodge’s numbers; the Caravan shot up by 76%, though,and the Durango and Charger both had small gains. Dodge is FCA US’ sportiest, youngest-buyer brand, but the most popular car by far this month is the Caravan.
The Renegade and, ironically, the Patriot, which the Renegade essentially replaces, both had their best monthly sales ever; and the Jeep Compass, far from its launch, posted its best-ever May.
With April sales of around 6,625 units, the Jeep Renegade continues to drive Jeep’s growth in Europe.
There were 8,881 Jeep registrations in the European Union plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland 22% more than in April 2015. For the first four months of the year, total Jeep registrations hit 35,351, 23% ahead of the same period last year.
Jeep has now reported year-over-year growth in Europe for 30 consecutive months.
As in the U.S., small crossovers and SUVs are booming in Europe, with registrations up 31% in the first quarter. The Renegade is ranked ninth out of 15 models in the segment while its clone, the Fiat 500X, is ranked fifth. Between the two, FCA has the third-largest market share in the segment, behind Renault-Nissan and PSA, but ahead of GM and Ford.
The Grand Cherokee continues to be Jeep’s second power player. It was ranked tenth out of 20 large premium SUVs in the first quarter of 2016.
Based on best estimates, the Renegade and Grand Cherokee have combined to account for about 74% of total Jeep brand sales in Europe.
Total FCA registrations were up almost 13% in April, beating overall market growth of 9%. Fiat brand deliveries rose 14% to 68,263 vehicles, while Lancia grew nearly 16%. Alfa was down slightly and Maserati was down by around 23% to 511.
The clear leader in U.S. sales was once again the Jeep Wrangler, the quintessential Jeep, in a big win for the traditional “all conquering” purists; buyers grabbed 19,003 Wranglers despite the easy April weather. For the year, though, Wrangler came in at #3 — despite 223 fewer sales, year to date, than in 2015.
Coming in at #2 was the Wrangler’s perennial challenger, the Grand Cherokee. The luxury-Jeep, which splits sales and an assembly line with the Dodge Durango, came in with 18,021 sales, a 12% gain over last year; if you add in the Durango’s 6,434 sale, the pair end up as the most popular Jeep.
The Cherokee, which may well be the worldwide favorite Jeep, showed up in the #3 spot at 17,667 sales, wrapping up the most popular Jeeps.
There is a huge gap between these leaders and the less expensive base models, all of which came in with similar sales numbers. The old Patriot led with 10,456 sales; the similar-chassis, different-shape Compass sold only 9,421 copies. The new Renegade, similar in general shape to the Patriot and quite probably its replacement, came in with 9,730 sales. (Add up the Compass and Patriot, and you get 19,877 sales — more than the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited combined.)
The joker for the year will be the new Compass, which at least one source claims will be called the Wagoneer. This seems somewhat unlikely, but one never knows.
Sales numbers bump around a lot, but sometimes patterns emerge — and this month, two big ones showed up.
First, the rise of the little crossovers, with Jeep Compass and Renegade both doubling their sales figures from April 2015. This is the trend Sergio Marchionne was talking about when he rationalized dropping Dart and 200 development (Dart fell by 49% and 200 by 60%). The Compass has been around for years; yet its sales doubled. The new-ish Renegade still beat it. The Patriot, similar in most ways to the Compass, posted a 10% gain.
The small-crossover story continues “out of brand” with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V beating the Civic and Corolla, respectively. Only the Toyota Camry beat its crossover version. (Fiat’s 500X+500L together outsold last year’s 500L alone, but those numbers are still minimal: all Fiats combined hit 3,045.)
As for the big vans, both the Chrysler Town & Country and Caravan soared. The relatively inexpensive Caravan more than doubled in sales, rising 116% to 13,203 for the month — beating every other Dodge and every Chrysler (but only coming in middlin’ by Jeep standards). The pricier Town & Country hit 9,195 sales. It’s possible that some of this is due to incentives, as the company clears lots for the new Pacifica; and some may be from customers seeking to get a cheap Dodge minivan while they can, not realizing that the Dodge will stay in production for around another year.
Perhaps minivans are just having a good month: at Honda, Odyssey sales rose by 13%, hitting 13,047. But at Toyota, Sienna sales dropped by 8% to 10,795. It looks like this is an FCA phenomenon, and it’s pushed the Caravan to #1 best selling minivan in the US for April. Year to date, the Odyssey clocks in at 40,486 and Caravan at 46,915, a nice lead (Chrysler is at 40,811, also beating the Odyssey, though not be quite as much.)
The other big vans — the ProMasters — did well, too. The full sized ProMaster hit a 61% increase, to 2,835; and the City rose by 89% to 1,880. Ford dominates this market to an absurd degree, partly through consistency.
TrueCar reported average incentives for each automaker this month to Automotive News. The industry average was a stunning $3,021 per car — up 13% from April 2015.
FCA was one of the leaders in incentives, placing #2 in the industry with an average of $3,967 slapped onto the hood of each car. Only BMW, at $4,713, gave away more per car.
The FCA average incentive rose by 25% from April 2015, according to TrueCar. It’s 2% less than March 2016, while the industry as a whole dropped by 3% from last month.
Daimler and GM were not far behind, at $3,911 and $3,909 respectively. Ford came in at $3,423. For comparison, Ford was 24% above last year and GM was just 14% above last year. Honda and Subaru both cut their incentives.
Generally, Asian imports had the smallest subsidies, with Subaru coming in at $572 — around a third that of the second lowest, Honda, with $1,631 per car. Nissan was the sole Asian exception with a $3,298 discount on each car. The Germans were all above average, and the Korean pair (Hyundai and Nissan) below average.
The former Chrysler, FCA US LLC, sold 199,631 vehicles in the United States last month, 6% over April 2015 and the best April sales in eleven years. The gain came from Jeep and Ram, with Jeep shooting up by 17%.
The Jeep Renegade and Compass had their best months ever. Jeep as a whole, the Ram pickup, Wrangler, Patriot, ProMaster, and ProMaster City recorded their best Aprils. The company finished the month with around 620,000 vehicles, around an 84 day supply.
On the down side, Chrysler fell by 17.5%, Dodge by 3%, and Fiat by 19%. Alfa Romeo sales of 60 cars were included, a 58% gain. Maserati, which is not part of FCA US, is to be reported separately.
Most other automakers reported smaller gains, with GM down 3.5%, Ford up 3.6%, and Toyota up 3.8%. Notable winners for the month were Honda (up 14.4%) and Nissan (up 12.8%). Volkswagen continued its odd performance as buyers punished the Volkswagen brand (down 9.7%) but rewarded Audi (up 5.8%), though Audi reportedly originated the pollution cheat system and used the same engines.
FCAU (Fiat Chrysler stock) dropped by around 3%.
Earlier this week, FCA announced that their new Chinese joint venture plant in Guangzhou had started making the Jeep Renegade. Yesterday, during the financial conference call, a company spokesman said that joint-venture Jeep Cherokee sales had already reached 9,000 per month, a hefty rate.
The Jeep Renegade is made in Italy, Brazil, and China, and some believe it will eventually be made in Mexico as well, alongside the Jeep Compass and a small Chrysler car. (The photo shows a Cherokee in a major Chinese facility.)
Update: Despite the success of the Cherokee and Jeep in general (up by 17%), total FCA sales in China were stable over the quarter.
Sergio Marchionne added:
We’ll start production of the Renegade… during the month of May on a full-blast basis. We are now running the plant in Changsha, which makes Fiat, but also makes the Cherokee… well above initial rates. We expect to sell probably in excess of 100,000 cars there this year.
General Motors’ cutbacks in fleet sales made the news when they let Ford edge past the giant to take the top sales spot in March.
Both GM and FCA want to cut back on fleet sales, which are often less profitable than retail. Ford, which has the highest percentage of fleet sales in the US, enjoys mostly higher-margin commercial and government sales; but FCA and GM have more of the less desirable, low-margin daily rental fleet sales.
Breakouts of fleet sales are hard to get; and breakouts of fleet sales by market are even harder. FCA treats its fleet numbers like they were the recipe for Coca-Cola Classic. Automotive News‘ Data Center provides monthly figures, but they are generally estimates, especially when it comes to FCA.
Automotive Fleet magazine, though, provided detailed fleet figures for the years 2006 to 2013. While they’re a bit out of date, they do give some insight into the quality of FCA’s fleet sales.
The numbers are the fleet registrations divided by total registrations (not sales), and were compiled by R.L. Polk and its successor/owner IHS Automotive. IHS declined requests for more current data; it’s their business to sell it.
This second chart shows just rental fleet registrations:
Chrysler mid-size sedans were, as most people already know, rental-fleet fodder. Between 2006 and 2013, rental companies accounted for more than half of all Dodge Avengers registered. At the other end of the scale, Jeeps and Rams enjoyed higher retail deliveries.
FCA started bolstering minivan figures with increased deliveries to rental fleets toward the end of this period.
FCA has done a good job since then, though. In 2015, Automotive News estimated that about 78% of all 2015 deliveries went to retail customers, well above the 2013 numbers; and it seems that higher-quality fleet sales have increased. The addition of two Ram vans and greater popularity of Ram pickups makes it likely that FCA’s commercial market share has been growing.
An FCA US spokesman wrote that FCA US had either the lowest fleet percentage of the major domestics, or was tied with one of them in each of the past four calendar years.
Part of that process has been pruning the product line — dropping the Dodge Avenger, for example. The company has chosen to prune the Dart and 200 rather than have them run as rental fodder, as well. This may be good for resale values, since having thousands of rentals depresses used-car prices. That would help make terms for company leases more attractive, too.
Jeep gained yet again in Europe, despite having climbed in March 2015 with the rise in Renegade sales. The division sold 10,650 units in the EU and EFTA countries, a gain of 14.5% over March 2015. Year to date, Jeep is 22.5% ahead.
Every FCA brand, in fact, gained in sales for the month, bringing FCA’s market share from 5.9% in March 2015 to 6.3% for March 2016, according to figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Moving to the more important year-to-date figures, Jeep’s 22.5% gain was the highest of any FCA brand by a large margin, but Fiat gained by a respectable 17%; Lancia/Chrysler by 12%; and Alfa Romeo by 7%. The “others” category rose by 3%, to 1,632 sales for the first quarter . Overall, the market improved by 8.2% in the first quarter, so Fiat, Jeep, and Lancia gained share and Alfa Romeo lost share. One reason for Fiat’s strength is that Italy posted the best growth (21%), far above #2 France (8%).
Jeep is far ahead of any “secondary” FCA brand, beating Lancia by over 6,500 sales in the quarter, and ahead of Alfa by over 10,000.
The results were good enough to earn FCA a 6.7% market share, half a point ahead of Q1 2015; Jeep’s market share ticked up from 0.6% to 0.7%. Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche, and others) still dominates with a 23.4% share, but that’s a full point down from last year. PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS) came in at #2 with just 10%, and Renault is next at 9%. Then Ford and GM are relatively close at 7%, rounded off, followed by FCA. Asian companies have to wait for #9 on the list (Toyota).
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