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).
On the “Final Assembly” page of this week’s print edition of Automotive News is a short piece that notes that FCA sold more light trucks last month than either Ford or General Motors.
By the published reports, this is true for the month. General Motors still maintains the lead for the year, but FCA is outselling Ford by both metrics.
In the uncredited piece, Automotive News attributes the results to creative accounting and the EPA’s loose definition of what constitutes a “light truck.” Their example is the Mini Countryman, which is considered a light truck, while the Mini Cooper is a car.
That would have been more of an issue in the days of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Ford Taurus X, but there really aren’t any such cars in the Detroit automakers’ current lineups.
The true uncertainty is at the other end of the range. Ford’s monthly sales report includes heavy trucks – the F-650 and F-750 – which are discarded in most sales analyses, including the table above.
However, there is still room for a bit of fudging in the F-Series category. While it’s likely that the F-450 pickup is counted in “F-Series” total, as Ford claims it’s a Class 3 truck, does that tally also include the F-450 chassis-cab, which is a Class 4 truck, and the F-550?
FCA sales reports list only the Ram Pickup, but Allpar has been told that the Ram tally does include chassis-cabs, leaving the door open for the 4400 and 5500.
For now, the numbers reported are good enough. FCA is not only Number 1 in utilities; it’s Number 1 in light trucks as a whole, too.
Earlier, Allpar reported that FCA was the #1 seller of crossovers and SUVs in the first quarter of 2016. Let’s dig a little deeper, now.
The top selling crossovers and SUVs — CSUVs, so to speak — were not Dodges or Jeeps, but the Toyota RAV4 (76,122), Ford Escape (71,594), Honda CR-V (71,188), Nissan Rogue (69,036), Ford Explorer (63,415), Chevy Equinox (59,879), and GMC Sierra (51,131). Not a single FCA CSUV in the top ten “trucks.” (The top three were pickups — Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram, very much in that order.)
If, instead of the top ten, we look at the top 10% of light trucks, we get 13 vehicles — and the three new ones are all Jeeps, the Cherokee (19,170), the Grand Cherokee (18,506), and the Wrangler (17,710). Jeep’s top ten total came to 55,386 C/SUVs, followed by Ford (50,126) and Toyota (43,994).
If you add the Durango to the Grand Cherokee, you can fight the Explorer more effectively (66,635 combined sales to the Explorer’s 63,415). That said, one can see why the Renegade exists, and why the Compass is being replaced, when one looks at the leaders in the hot crossover segment — the RAV4, Escape, Rogue, and CR-V.
Perhaps Jeep will have entries there as well, once the new four-cylinders are under their hoods?
Once again, FCA sold more crossovers and SUVs than anyone else in the US, with over 100,000 sales in March. For the first quarter, FCA was 18,670 sales ahead of General Motors and 55,034 ahead of Ford. FCA got nearly 48% of its March sales from crossovers and SUVs.
Jeep remained the top SUV/crossover brand last month, beating Ford by 9,465 sales. Indeed, Jeep sold more utilities than General Motors (all brands combined), Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, or Subaru. Jeep is, year to date, 21,497 sales ahead of the Ford brand.
The Ram pickup’s solid performance kept it at the No. 3 spot in overall sales behind the Ford F-series and Chevy Silverado.
Ford pulled off a nice coup in March, taking the top sales spot in both the U.S. and Canada, beating GM by just 963 units in the U.S., thanks to fleet sales, and beating FCA in Canada by just 585 sales. GM still holds the year to date title in the U.S., and FCA is still the leader in Canada.
Smaller cars took a big hit in March, but the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger hung in there. The Charger was #2 among the full-size, general-market cars and the Chrysler 300 was #3.
All this good news came with a price. TrueCar.com estimates FCA spent an average of $3,887 on incentives per vehicle, up 13.7% compared to last March. That’s still $56 less than GM and $929 less than BMW, the biggest spender, but it’s $616 more than Ford.
It’s been a long time since April 2010, but Chrysler Group / FCA has nailed six solid years of growth. For 72 months, the company has come through with year-over-year improvements. Subaru has reported 52 months of growth and Audi has posted 63 consecutive sales records, but FCA’s achievement has to be some kind of record, at least in modern times.
Minivans, long relegated to the backwaters in automotive sales, were the hottest US market segment in March.
Year-over-year sales rose more than 39%, with the Chrysler Town & County and Dodge Grand Caravan leading the way. The Town & Country’s 148% surge propelled it to the top for the month; the Caravan’s 117% jump made it the runner-up.
The Toyota Sienna still has the year-to-date lead, but by a razor-thin 817 units over the Grand Caravan and 2,913 over the Town & Country. Both FCA minivans are ahead of the Honda Odyssey in both monthly and year-to-date sales.
For the first quarter of 2016, minivan sales are up 35%.
Traditional vans were also hot in March, with deliveries up by 29%. Ford took 54% of total sales, but Ram’s ProMaster and ProMaster City combined to outsell both Nissan and Daimler (Mercedes and Freightliner). The full-size ProMaster outsold Daimler’s total all by itself.
FCA Canada logged their best sales month since the year 2000, selling 25,862 vehicles — 3% over March 2015. FCA Canada remains the top-selling automaker in the country through the first three months of the year. Minivans rose by 24%, Jeeps by 36%, led in volume by the Cherokee.
Sales in Mexico also climbed by 3%, rising to 7,940. Dodge sales rose by 16% to 2,505; Mitsubishi rose by 3% to 1,330; and Ram hit 2,017. Alfa Romeo’s best March ever amounted to 25 sales; Chrysler reported 200 sales; and Fiat, 691. (Dodge sales includes a rebadged Mitsubishi and a rebadged Fiat; Ram sales includes a rebadged Fiat.)
The Jeep Patriot managed to beat its successor in sales last month despite a 17% sales drop, logging 9,837 US sales vs Renegade’s 8,832. The comparison may be somewhat unfair, as some dealers said they were not getting ordered Renegades, and the latter is brought in from Italy while the Patriot is made in Illinois.
In any case, the Renegade easily beat the outgoing Compass, despite a huge 53% boost in Compass sales compared with March 2015. (There were practically no Renegades to be sold at that time so the latter’s 2,228% gain can be ignored.) This bodes well for the replacement-Compass, which will reportedly have much the same chassis as the Renegade but with mini-Grand-Cherokee styling.
Looking at the bigger Jeeps, the three-way sales race has been clearly won by the Cherokee, with 19,170 sales for the month — up just 1%. The Grand Cherokee hit the #2 spot with 18,506 sales, and Wrangler trailed at 17,710. The Wrangler may have the last laugh, though, with a production boost planned — and the most traditional Jeep will be kicking the Cherokee out of its factory and taking it over, most likely next year.
Jeep continues to be on a roll for 2016, with sales up by 17% year to date; the Compass has the biggest rise (up 43%) and lowest sales. The only other Jeep to lose sales year to date was the Wrangler, though only by 1%. The profit engine Grand Cherokee was up by 8%, and the Cherokee gained by 3%. So far, Jeep has sold 49,534 Jeep Cherokees in the US alone — a number larger than total Jeep sales in many of the Willys and Kaiser years.
FCA US, née Chrysler Group, knocked one out of the park, announcing March 2016 sales of 213,187 — up by 8% over the prior month, and the best March sales in over a decade. This makes six solid years of unbroken year-over-year U.S. sales gains for the company.
Jeep, Dodge, and Ram all posted gains, with Jeep shooting up by 15% on the heels of a report that the brand led the American market in conquest buyers.
March sales records were set by the Journey, Ram pickup, ProMaster, ProMaster City, Wrangler, Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass — the latter living on borrowed time as a replacement is prepared.
The greatest percentage-type sales gains, year to date, were from the Town & Country minivan — just recently heartily slammed by Consumer Reports — Caravan minivan, which nearly doubled in sales, and ProMaster van. Relatively new models showing sales gains due to limited availability in early 2015 were the Jeep Renegade and ProMaster City. Both minivans posted more than double their March 2015 sales last month, possibly due to publicity around their replacement, the Chrysler Pacifica.
There were losses, most notably in sales of the 200 (down 63%) and Dart (down 33%) — and, to greater extremes, in the land of Fiat, where the 500 and 500L each had less than half their March 2015 sales. Overall, with the Fiat 500X added in, the brand’s sales dropped by 24% for the month and 18% year to date.
The company finished the month with 82 days of stock. The complete sales table is:
Jeep’s sales growth remained strong in February, providing a 28th consecutive month of European sales growth. Registrations were 22% ahead of February 2015, in a market that rose by just 14%; still, the brand is tiny in Europe, with 7,781 Jeeps sold in a million-car market, and growth slowed from January.
Jeep was the only FCA brand to slip from January sales, albeit by just 19 cars and in a shorter month; year to date growth was 28%, higher than any other FCA brand. Beating March 2015’s sales may be tricky since they had spiked to 9,203.
The Renegade, one of the top-selling small crossovers in Europe, took over half of total Jeep sales, once again; and the sales figures show that Renegade is attracting new customers, not diverting old ones.
For the month, Lancia/Chrysler grew by 16%, Maserati/Dodge/Ram grew by 12% (to just 382), and Alfa Romeo by 9%. Jeep was the second best-selling FCA brand in Europe by a decent margin, after Fiat. FCA as a whole passed Ford and GM to be Europe’s #4 brand.
Send a tipSubscribe
Meet the staff (link)
« Older News
Staff details/contacts • Terms of Service • Information is presented to the best of our knowledge. Plans change and sometimes mistakes are made. Decisions or purchases made based on this site's verbiage or images are done at the reader's own risk. • Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © 2008-2016, Allpar LLC. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.