Category Archives: Sales

Canadian sales dropped a little in hot market

FCA Canada, the former Chrysler Canada, reported  a 3% drop in sales, with retail staying flat and fleets falling 11%. The totals were 5,662 sales to fleets, 15,012 at retail, and a total of 20,674. Fleet sales were 27% of the total.

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Ram was up 12%, driven more by a 14% hike in pickups. The big Dodges rose, as well, though 300 sales fell. As in the US, the Dart and 200 took big hits, falling by 55% and 37%, respectively. Pacifica sales were roughly half of last year’s Town & Country sales, while the Caravan dropped by just 7% (Journey sales also fell, by 33%).

At Jeep, Grand Cherokee sales grew by 25% and Cherokee by 7% — Cherokee is the clear leader, with more than double the sales of the #2 Grand — while every other model dropped, with Compass and Renegade hit the worst.

The Italian contingent did poorly, with ProMaster City dropping by 26% to 141 sales, and all Fiat and Alfa Romeo combined selling just 166 cars. A single Alfa Romeo 4C changed hands, and fewer than a dozen 500Ls left dealerships.

Overall, what would have been an unremarkably month seems more like a slide given a dramatic 31% rise by General Motors, to 28,523 sales and a clear first place finish, and an 18% gain by Ford. FCA had been running the #1 and #2 positions for some time; this month it ended at a distant #3. FCA is still beating GM year to date, 259,859 sales to GM’s 249,212.

Model Nov ’16 Nov ’15 Change YTD ’16 YTD ’15 Change
200 293 638 -54% 6,589 10,443 -37%
300 317 363 -13% 3,489 4,002 -13%
Town & Country 21 629 -97% 2,900 8,454 -66%
Pacifica 377 0 New 2,299 0 New
CHRYSLER 1,008 1,630 -38% 15,277 22,899 -33%
Dart 99 189 -48% 1,331 2,935 -55%
Avenger 0 0 0 8 -100%
Charger 317 119 166% 3,526 4,280 -18%
Challenger 139 88 58% 3,023 2,583 17%
Viper 8 1 700% 54 105 -49%
Journey 1,465 2,201 -33% 15,580 23,355 -33%
Caravan 3,809 4,111 -7% 48,033 42,660 13%
Durango 551 345 60% 5,914 3,419 73%
DODGE 6,388 7,054 -9% 77,461 79,345 -2%
Compass 221 503 -56% 3,770 3,472 9%
Patriot 435 488 -11% 7,984 8,843 -10%
Wrangler 1,090 1,213 -10% 17,735 19,413 -9%
Cherokee 2,916 2,729 7% 30,135 28,950 4%
Grand Cherokee 1,299 1,042 25% 14,231 10,619 34%
Renegade 237 337 -30% 3,704 1,957 89%
JEEP 6,198 6,312 -2% 77,559 73,254 6%
Pickup 6,542 5,762 14% 83,357 84,034 -1%
Cargo Van 0 1 -100% 0 836 -100%
PM Van 231 237 -3% 2,306 2,421 -5%
PM City 141 190 -26% 1,609 1,776 -9%
RAM 6,914 6,190 12% 87,272 89,067 -2%
Alfa 4C 1 4 -75% 83 89 -7%
500 65 96 -32% 947 2,834 -67%
500L 11 28 -61% 285 1,843 -85%
500X 59 49 20% 737 554 33%
Spider 30 0 New 238 0 New
FIAT+ALFA 166 177 -5% 2,290 5,320 -58%
Car+Minivan 5,487 6,266 -12% 72,797 80,236 -9%
SUV+CUV 8,273 8,907 -7% 99,790 100,582 -1%
Ram 6,914 6,190 12% 87,272 89,067 -2%
FCA CANADA 20,674 21,363 -3% 259,859 269,885 -4%
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Sales, plants, and the future

The November sales drop, coming at the same time as incentive increases, can be troubling, but it was also predictable. Even though other automakers gained while FCA US lost, the month’s drop was largely caused by company strategies and plans.

All-new 2013 Dodge Dart

First, there was the Dodge Dart. It was rushed into production in typical Chrysler fashion — some say to give Fiat a bunch of Chrysler shares, but that wasn’t really an urgent need. Most likely, Sergio Marchionne pushed it forward as quickly as possible to demonstrate what Fiat was bringing to the table. His position all along was that Fiat and Chrysler needed each other, and had to join together and work as one. To do that, he had to show Fiat that they needed Chrysler — notice all those new Maseratis? — and show Chrysler that they needed Fiat.

Some sources claimed that a second generation Dart was nearing completion when the car was dropped entirely. The reasons for dropping it aren’t completely clear, but chances are it had higher than expected warranty costs, and was done in by the lack of factory capacity, FCA capital, and the failure of the small sedan market.

2016 Chrysler 200

In short, there were precious few Darts sold by dealers. The same goes for the 200, which, I suspect, was completely revamped for much the same reason as the Dart was produced. In the end, Chrysler gained a car that handled much better, was much more modern, and was a little more efficient, but gave up some comfort, cost advantage, and ease of rear-seat entry. It turned out to be a poor tradeoff for the company. Hence, the 200 barely moved, except when pushed by high incentives; and it too was marked to be cut, for much the same reasons as the Dart. The factory space is desired for greater SUV and crossover production, and the money is needed for crossovers, trucks, worldwide expansion, and the complete rebuilding of Alfa Romeo and Dodge.

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What about the rest? The minivans both dropped, quite a bit; then again, so did the Toyota Sienna (by 8%) and Honda Odyssey (by 12%). Of course Caravan dropped by 39% and Pacifica came in similarly short of Town & Country, to the point that Sienna is now the #1 minivan, followed by Pacifica, Odyssey, and finally Caravan.  The Pacifica doesn’t seem to be taking off, but the hybrid might attract enough favorable press to turn that around.

The 200, Dart, and minivans accounted for 19,916 vehicles, out of a 26,904 unit shortfall.

The future will likely see FCA US sales slipping again; Sergio Marchionne warned the world that was coming months ago. Plants are being moved, priorities changed. In theory, once new cars are in place, the company should start to regain ground — if not in sales volume, then in profits. There are dangers ahead, especially as every mainstream and luxury automaker plunges into Jeep’s SUV-and-crossover turf, and pickup competition intensifies.

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FCA México sales up; Canada TBD

With Canadian sales still to be released, and likely lower than last November’s, FCA México has already issued their own good news — a 5% sales hike to 10,432 sales.

mexico

The news may not be exciting for former-Chrysler-Corporation fans, with most of the gains coming in badge-engineered vehicles and Mitsubishis, which are sold by FCA in Mexico. For example, of 3,803 Dodge sales, 2,272 are Attitudes and 358 are Neons; those and the Vision are rebadged Fiats and Mitsubishis. (Attitude rose by 27%.)

Over 10% of sales were badged as Mitsubishis, at 1,679 sales (up 13%). Ram sales were up 27% and totalled nearly a quarter of the total, but that includes 1,024 Fiat Stradas sold as Ram 700s — 41% of Ram sales.

Jeep had 1,430 sales, Chrysler had just 208, Fiat had 771, and Alfa Romeo had 44. FCA’s Mexican sales were 6.4% of US sales.

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US: Retail stable, fleets plummet

The old Chrysler Group’s US sales fell sharply in November 2016, compared to a very good November 2015, but that’s not the end of the story.  Retail sales for November were down just 2%; fleet sales fell by 42%.  The fleets took up 21% of the total for the month, a lower percentage than normal this year, possibly because some fleet sales were pulled forward.

us-sales

There were some bright spots, notably Ram, which saw a 12% gain compared with last November. Ram pickups saw an 8% hike, and the rest came from new-ish vans. The Pacifica gained 13% from October, and the Renegade shot up by 30% from last November. The 300 fell by around 2,000 cars, but the Charger more than made up for it, cementing its place as the best selling big car.

While the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 barely registered in the sales charts, representing quite a bit of the fall, the new Jeep Compass should easily outperform the existing crossover starting in February, when supplies are well spread out.

retail

Jeep dropped by 12% overall; sales dropped most of all for the now-second-place Cherokee, down 37% despite high incentives. The old Compass dropped by 24% but was still good for nearly 7,000 sales, while the outgoing Patriot managed 8,568 (down 14%). The Renegade beat both for the first time, with just over 10,000 sales. The standby Wrangler fell by 7% and Grand Cherokee was roughly stable, with a 2% drop (432 sales).

Chrysler continues to languish, with sales down 12% overall. The 200 dropped by 72%, as the lavish incentives from 2015 are no longer around, and no more will be made after next month. The 300 fell by nearly half, with just 2,566 sales — still up by 2% for the year, though. And Town & Country supplies are nearly exhausted; just 350 were sold, down from 12,537 last year. The new Pacifica, with a higher after-rebate cost, isn’t moving as quickly — 8,753 were sold. That might be because minivans as a whole were down; the Caravan saw a 39% drop, too, with 6,696 selling.

Other news at Dodge was a 9% drop in Challengers, an 11% drop in Journeys, and a 13% drop in Durangos. The Viper saw a 38% gain, likely due to a single dealer stocking up.

Finally, Alfa Romeo sold just 23 of the 4C and Giulia is not on sale yet; and Fiat saw a rebound of the lower-priced 500, with 1,147 sold (up by 18%), but 500L and 500X continue to be crushed, with 96 of one and 822 of the other selling. The new shared-with-Miata Fiat 124 Spyder had 350 sales, and was not meant to be a huge seller.

The analysts were off by just 1%.

For the month, cars and MPVs fell — by a stunning 34%; crossovers and SUVs fell by 13%; and trucks and commercial vans rose by 12%. Still to be seen in future months is the popularity of the new Compass, the success of the Giulia and Stelvio, the impact of the Pacifica Hybrid on minivan sales, and whether new Challenger specials can change Dodge’s fortunes.

Model Nov ’16 Nov ’15 Change YTD ’16 YTD ’15 Change
200 2,849 10,103 -72% 54,651 157,705 -65%
300 2,566 4,635 -45% 49,657 48,756 2%
Town & Country 350 12,537 -97% 58,805 86,908 -32%
Pacifica 8,753 0 New 52,083 0 New
CHRYSLER 14,518 27,275 -47% 215,196 293,369 -27%
Dart 2,203 7,201 -69% 41,877 82,041 -49%
Avenger 1 15 -93% 45 1,294 -97%
Charger 9,138 6,804 34% 88,200 88,323 0%
Challenger 3,908 4,297 -9% 59,176 61,813 -4%
Viper 62 45 38% 571 627 -9%
Journey 7,133 8,023 -11% 96,991 100,256 -3%
Caravan 6,696 10,926 -39% 120,991 89,833 35%
Durango 4,934 5,644 -13% 62,678 56,897 10%
DODGE 34,075 42,955 -21% 470,529 481,084 -2%
Compass 6,984 9,209 -24% 86,107 64,188 34%
Patriot 8,568 9,933 -14% 114,117 108,968 5%
Wrangler 12,957 13,948 -7% 176,053 186,835 -6%
Cherokee 11,479 18,218 -37% 183,356 196,092 -6%
Grand Cherokee 17,230 17,662 -2% 189,023 175,746 8%
Renegade 10,067 7,719 30% 94,561 52,211 81%
JEEP 67,285 76,689 -12% 843,217 784,040 8%
Ram P/U 36,885 34,145 8% 441,862 408,724 8%
Cargo Van 0 2 -100% 21 2,157 -99%
ProMaster Van 4,702 2,084 126% 35,746 23,658 51%
ProMaster City 924 1,721 -46% 14,625 8,015 82%
RAM 42,511 37,952 12% 492,254 442,554 11%
Giulia 0 0 New 7 0 New
Alfa 4C 23 34 -32% 457 603 -24%
ALFA ROMEO 23 34 -32% 464 603 -23%
500 1,147 974 18% 14,026 22,243 -37%
500L 96 231 -58% 3,016 7,275 -59%
500X 822 1,621 -49% 10,869 7,785 40%
Spider 350 0 New 2,225 0 New
FIAT 2,415 2,826 -15% 30,136 37,303 -19%

Total Car & MPV 38,142 57,802 -34% 545,787 647,421 -16%
Total UV’s 80,174 91,977 -13% 1,013,755 948,978 7%
Total Truck & LCV 42,511 37,952 12% 492,254 442,554 11%
TOTAL FCA US LLC 160,827 187,731 -14% 2,051,796 2,038,953 1%
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Big dip for FCA US?

Analysts have predicted an all-time record for US auto sales in November — but not for FCA.  With auto sales believed to be rising by 4% overall this month, FCA is predicted to be falling by 13%, despite higher incentive spending.

Sales-Forecast-Clouds-Web

To put FCA’s shortfall in context, though, the company has trimmed its product line since last November, cutting the Dodge Avenger, Dodge Dart, and Ram Cargo van, and removing price supports from the Chrysler 200. That group of cars, which added up to 16,540 sales in November 2015, fell to 5,250 this October — and, since there are no replacements, that’s a loss of over 11,000 deliveries, based on last month’s numbers.

An even larger hurdle was added when the numbers for November 2015 were restated earlier this year, so that the 175,974 sales originally reported jumped to 187,731. Using the old numbers would bring this month’s sales to a small loss of just one-half of one percent, instead of 13%.

fca-retail-2011-2016-web

The key number to beat is 129,292 — the number of retail sales from November 2015. Through October, total FCA volume is 2.2% ahead of the same period last year. However, retail volume is down 2.4%, and retail sales have missed their year-over-year marks in six of the ten months reported so far in 2016.

What’s more, FCA seems to be losing share even with a massive 18% rise in incentives, according to TrueCar.com, to an average of $4,154 per vehicle. That said, GM and Nissan are spending more per vehicle, and Ford saw an even bigger rise, by 23%, the most of the major automakers.

Average fleet volume through October was nearly 25%, the highest share of total sales since 2012.

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A new Jeep world record?

Jeep will likely set a new global sales record this month, surpassing the 1.24 million sold in 2015.

Jeep chief Mike Manley reported that  2016 sales were 1.16 million at the end of October, so just 75,000 or so sales are needed in November to set a new annual record — a month ahead of schedule. If Jeep can repeat its 83,204 October sales in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the new record will be set with room to spare.

Mike Manley

According to the European automobile manufacturers’ association, ACEA, Jeep posted another strong European month with 8,087 vehicles sold in October, an increase of more than 8% in a market that was down by 0.3%.

Year-to-date (YTD) Jeep registrations have risen by nearly 21%, to 88,384, one of the highest growth rates in Europe.  The Jeep Renegade was the main driver, with 74% of Jeep sales; around 6,000 new Renegades were sold last month. Overall, FCA rose by around 7%, to 75,108 sales last month, putting it around 4,600 units ahead of GM Europe and around 2,000 sales behind Ford.

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October was all about Ram

Not only was Ram the sole FCA brand to beat its U.S. October sales figures from 2015, it was a standout compared to the industry as a whole.

Ram-PowerWagon-2015-Web

In October, Ram volume rose nearly 12%. That’s the most growth of any major automotive brand.

In year-to-date (YTD) sales, Ram was also the growth leader at 11%. Not bad for a brand that consists of full-size pickups and two commercial vans.

While it wasn’t able to outsell the Silverado again, as it had in September, the Ram pickup did report the highest volume growth of any full-size truck, and was second only to the new Nissan Titan in percentage growth. YTD Ram sales are about 29 times those of the Titan, so changes in Titan sales are magnified.

But Ram isn’t just about pickups. The ProMaster vans are racking up some good results.

ram-promaster-rocket-web

Sales of the full-size ProMaster van soared almost 92% in October and they are up 44% compared to the first ten months of 2015. The only van to beat the ProMaster in YTD growth was the ProMaster City with deliveries up almost 118%.

van-chart-october-web

Ram brand vans were just 193 sales short of Chevrolet in October and, as was the case with the Ram pickup, they cut Chevy’s 10-month lead almost in half compared to last year.

Looking at total van sales (minivans plus commercial vans), FCA is the market leader. Even though minivan totals were down from last October, FCA captured a larger share of the market, going from 44.2% to 44.7%. For the year, FCA’s dominance has grown from 34.4% in 2015 to 40.2% for the January-October period in 2016.

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Who is the minivan king?

Dodge may not be keeping a minivan past next year, but it’s selling more than any other company in the United States. The second best brand is Chrysler — if you lump together the Pacifica and Town & Country.

minivan-share

Minivans were big sellers in October; Dodge and Chrysler sold 19,850 of the big people-movers. Toyota was a distant #2, with 7,859 Siennas sold, and the Honda Odyssey took up the #3 spot with 7,622 sales. (The Kia Sedona is not a big player in sales.)

Past reports had 2/3 of Caravan sales going to corporate and government buyers. The more retail-biased Chryslers are in the same price and sales range as Toyota and Honda.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans

Dodge was the #1 brand, with 11,563 sales. Some bargain-hunters (including fleet buyers) may be picking up the inexpensive Dodge while they still can.  The Pacifica, arguably a far better van than the Town & Country, saw just 7,758 sales — which out-sold Honda. Toss in the Town & Country’s 529 sales, and Chrysler was #2 after Dodge.

Last October, the Caravan outsold the Town & Country by a much slimmer margin. Is this meaningful? Possibly not. Some people refuse to buy a domestic car in its first year, the Pacifica may have name-recognition issues, and it’s the Pacificas on dealer lots are more expensive, especially after the old T&C’s incentives. With a wider gap, many of those who would have opted for the Chrysler are likely sticking with Dodge.

Pacifica sales may shoot up after media buzz from the hybrids, due in the next two months.

For the year to date, Dodge Caravan sales are up by a stunning 45%, to 114,295. The Town & Country + Pacifica stand at 101,785 — also way up from 2015.  Toyota stands at 107,369 Siennas, down by 6%, while Honda sits at 102,457, down by 5%. (In Canada, Dodge easily outsells all other brands — combined.)

The question is, what will happen when Dodge leaves? We fully expect Canada to keep the brand going, and Chrysler to do a lower-end base model Pacifica. It seems likely that, in 2019, Chrysler will still have the #1 spot in minivans, but probably by a lesser margin — and the Kia Sedona may pick up many of the value sales, if there’s no new Journey-like vehicle for those who need the space but can only make Dodge-sized payments.

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