For January, Ram jumped up to become the third largest seller of commercial vans in the United States, beating Nissan and Mercedes. Indeed, the ProMaster, on its own, out-sold all Mercedes vans combined, the GMC Savanna, Nissan NV and NV200, and Chevrolet City Express.
The ProMaster City outsold its class-mate, the Chevrolet City Express. Ford continues to dominate commercial van sales, in both large and small classes, by huge margins, partly because the company never left the market and was early to bring in Euro-style vans. Mercedes sells at a high premium, and some have complained about maintenance and repair costs.
In minivans, Chrysler and Dodge, combined, came in first place; but if the models are separated, the Sienna took those honors, followed by the Dodge Grand Caravan and then the Chrysler Town & Country, with the once-dominant Honda Odyssey on the bottom of the Big Four. The split between Dodge and Chrysler will continue through 2016 and likely through most of 2017.
Minivan sales, as a class, rose by 25% in January; 78% of that growth went to FCA.
Thanks to high sales of stalwarts such as the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, along with outstanding growth from the Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey, FCA was once again the top US crossover/SUV source in January.
Dodge and Jeep sold 74,585 utilities and wagons last month, slipping by General Motors to take the lead with 1,608 more sales. Ford was third.
Jeep kicked off 2016 just like it finished 2015: the top brand in the hottest market.
Sales of crossovers and SUVs rose again in January, as passenger car sales fell. Crossovers and utilities are poised to replace sedans and coupes as the most popular vehicles in the US.
Dodge and Jeep were among the top five growth brands in January (along with Maserati) as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, and Fiat were the biggest losers.
FCA was just 6,246 sales behind third-place Toyota in January. It was 49,303 ahead of fifth-place Nissan, which passed Honda last month.
Sales figures for all car companies are now out, giving a more clear picture of how well the former Chrysler did last month.
Spoiler alert: while FCA stock tanked, Fiat Chrysler did quite well.
General Motors remains by far the largest seller in the US, with nearly 204,000 sales for January alone. This is just about one thousand cars more than in January 2015 — nearly a wash. #2 Ford actually declined by 3%, falling to 172,478, nearly all from the eponymous Ford brand.
Toyota slipped by 5% to 161,283 sales, with Lexus and Toyota both sliding. FCA, still #4, reached 155,742 sales, practically within spitting distance of Toyota — but neither analysts nor FCA itself expects to overtake the Japanese dynamo.
Nissan, once threatening to permanently displace FCA as the #4, came in at 105,734 sales, up by 2%. Given that Fiat and Alfa Romeo combined accounted for fewer than 3,000 sales, the former Chrysler brands alone would have no problem beating Nissan.
Honda slipped by 2%, to 100,497, not far from Nissan. Hyundai-Kia was essentially flat, with 500 extra sales, ending up at 83,316.
The only other automaker with over 40,000 sales was, surprisingly, Subaru — with 41,101 (up by 300) — a true success story given that the brand was near death before Paul Hogan started pitching the Outback. Volkswagen Group (including Audi, Porsche, Bentley, and Laborghini) was down by just 7% despite the inability to sell diesels; chances are that when their emissions solution is finally created and accepted, Volkswagen will start up again where they’d left off. The scandal does not seem to have affected Audi, which was up by 3%.
For more, see our detail page for Fiat Chrysler’s US sales.
With a tiny 1% sales gain over January 2015, FCA Canada remains the country’s best-selling automaker — as it was for the full year 2015.
In 2015, FCA Canada had practically echoed its 2014 sales every month, with a slightly larger boost in July and December. That was still impressive, since 2014 was a banner year.
2016 sales would be almost exactly in the same spot as 2014 and 2015 sales.
Jeep hit a January sales record of 5,352, 34% higher than in January 2015. Nearly half of that was Cherokees, with 2,428 sold (up 73%). Ram also had a January record, with 7,223 sold (including 6,842 pickups, an 18% gain).
FCA easily beat #2 Ford, 18,156 to 16,637. GM is back at 14,395, and Toyota at 10,771. Volkswagen actually saw an 18% loss, down to 3,408.
FCA México is probably not Sergio Marchionne’s greatest worry, but the company brought in a 3% gain over last January, rising to 8,375 sales. This includes Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Mitsubishi as well as the Chrysler brands.
The Ram 700, a re-branded Fiat Strada, had record sales and was, according to FCA, at the top of its segment.
Dodge was the sales leader, with nearly 2,500 units, up 39% thanks largely to 1,190 “Dodge” (Mitsubishi) Attitude sales. The Journey had 713 sales and the “Dodge” Vision (Fiat), 301.
Coming in at #2 was Ram, with 1,908 sales, 55% over last January — but 936 of those were the Ram 700, rebadged Fiats.
Jeep sales rose to 1,579 and the Wrangler set a January record. Around a third of sales were Grand Cherokees.
Mitsubishi sales were up to 1,423, Fiat 733, Alfa Romeo just 23 (with three cars, MiTo, Giulietta, and 4C). Chrysler was also in the “barely relevant” charts, with 214 sales.
Sergio Marchionne warned analysts to expect a drop in sales at some point, as the company let them fall to reach the original projections.
That point hasn’t been reached yet. FCA US reported a 7% increase in sales in January, compared with January 2015, well above even the most optimistic analyst forecast.
This was the best January sales report in nine years, with 155,037 cars and trucks sold; and it’s the 70th month of consecutive sales gains.
Dodge was the leader in sales growth, as a percentage, followed by Jeep and Ram. Chrysler contracted with gains in minivans and large cars outweighed by a sudden drop in 200 sales, as incentives were diverted away.
Looking at the numbers, one can see why Sergio Marchionne is favoring “trucks” (a large category that includes vans, minivans, pickups, SUVs, and crossovers) over “cars” (which can include crossovers but usually does not). Cars continue to fall, while trucks continue to gain. Part of this, for January, is the removal of a good deal of the 200 incentives, resulting in a dramatic loss of sales. Dart sales also fell.
Despite heavy snows, Wrangler sales fell why the big rear wheel drive cars — 300, Charger, and Challenger — all rose. The large cars are sold with all wheel drive as an option, which is not available on the Dart but is on the 200.
The “time limited” Compass and Patriot continue to grow; Cherokee, despite added incentives, appears to have reached its peak. Minivan sales are up partly due to the factory closure last year. The commercial vans are both growing in sales as cautious fleet managers start to try them out; while the small Fiats continue to fall, partly as potential 500L buyers turn to the 500X.
By individual model:
Sales were not the only gain: according to Kelley Blue Book, FCA enjoyed the largest gain in transaction prices (the amount paid for the cars and trucks) among major automakers, largely due to Dodge and Ram. They wrote that average transaction prices rose by 4.5%, from $33,026 in January 2015 to $34,504 in January 2016.
FCA’s average prices were roughly the same as in December, but Ford and General Motors saw their prices fall 3.4% and 3.2%, respectively. (Transaction prices do not include incentives, which appear to have risen as well.)
Bad news came in the form of startling high inventory, with 103 days of sales — 666,652 cars and trucks.
January records were set by the Cherokee, Patriot, Compass, Journey, Challenger, Charger, Ram pickup, ProMaster, and ProMaster City. Jeep had its best January ever.
Winter storm Jonas dumped record snowfalls on car and truck sales, but analysts predict that FCA will beat the chill and add one more month to its streak of year-over-year gains.
Based on the average of forecasts from Edmunds, KBB, and TrueCar, FCA will report deliveries of 147,758 vehicles next Tuesday, 2% above their January 2015 sales.
All the analysts agree that Jeep will be the force behind the 70th consecutive month of increased sales.
The only company predicted to join FCA with a sales hike is Nissan, with Ford predicted to fall by 3% and GM to stay flat. Overall industry sales are predicted to be down by around 1%, according to Jessica Caldwell at Edmunds, Tim Fleming at Kelley Blue Book, and Eric Lyman of TrueCar.com.
J.P. Power/LMC Automotive are slightly more optimistic, calling for just 994 fewer sales, but they wrote that nearly 20% of those sales will got to fleets, up from 16% in January 2015. (TrueCar is also looking for increased fleet sales of about 19% of the total.)
TrueCar estimated that incentive spending was up compared to January 2015. FCA actually increased their projected average incentives to $3,538, 14.5% more than last January and 0.5% more than in December. General Motors was still the biggest spender at over $3,800 per vehicle. Ford spending rose 7.6%, to an average of $3,022.
Most automakers are also expected to be aggressive with incentives this year as they try to chalk up another record volume year before the expected sales dip in 2017.
FCA, having seen larger than expected sales in the US and North America has a whole, is planning to allow sales levels to fall naturally, along with the industry. This is likely being done to maintain profitability, and allow for a graceful break of the company’s long run of sales increases.
With FCA US changing which factories product various vehicles, maintaining sales growth would likely result in high incentives on less-popular vehicles. The advance warning to analysts warns them that sales may fall, while remaining at or above the May 2014 plan levels.
Update: One reason for letting sales slide down to planned levels is to avoid “unrealistic pricing expectations.”
In 2015, the top seven automakers increased their fleet sales by 6.2%, while their retail sales rose by 5.4%. For the full year, FCA and Toyota shifted towards fleet sales, while GM and Hyundai shifted away; and Ford and Nissan stayed fairly flat.
FCA had been increasing sales growth on the retail side more than fleet sales for years. For the year as a whole, both GM and FCA saw a 22% fleet mix, with FCA likely increasing its fleet sales with the arrival of the ProMaster vans and both CNG and diesel Ram 1500s. Hyundai is the foreign automaker with the most fleet sales, at 19%.
In December 2014, 27% of Ford’s sales went to fleets, partly due to its strong presence in commercial trucks and vans. 25% of FCA’s sales went to fleets, 22% of Hyundai’s, and 19% of FCA’s. Nissan and Toyota both had 9% of their sales in the fleet market.
For December 2015, Ford and FCA were both at 27%, GM at 17%, Hyundai at 16%, Nissan at 13%, and Toyota, less embattled than in 2014, was down to 5%. Every “top seven” automaker increased their retail sales; GM, Hyundai, and Toyota cut their fleet sales.
The ACEA has released its list of European new-car registrations, with expected good news for Jeep. A 12% gain in December helped the brand more than double its annual sales, leaping from 41,415 to 88,211 across Europe. That’s still only a market share of 0.6%, but it was enough to put Jeep ahead of Lancia/Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Ferrari.
Lancia/Chrysler rung in 61,680 sales for 2015, for a 0.4% market share, down from 0.6%. In 2014, Jeep had a market share of 0.3%, putting it behind Lancia/Chrysler and Alfa Romeo.
Fiat (brand) rose by 23% in December, ending the year up by 12% with 656,669 sales. During 2015, all FCA brands combined hit 872,504 sales in Europe (up by 14%), increasing market share from 5.9% in 2014 to 6.1% in 2015.
FCA’s increase was higher than VW (6%), PSA (6%), Renault (9%), Ford (9%), Opel/GM (2%), BMW (12%), Toyota (7%), and other, smaller automakers. The only major companies to register a stronger increase were Daimler (18%) and Nissan (16%).
Who won the US minivan sales race in 2015?
It really depends on how you measure it.
Chrysler and Dodge, separately, came in third and fourth, partly thanks to a factory closure which reduced supply (and also cut FCA and its dealers’ desire to give sales incentives).
Together, they easily beat all competitors; but that’s not how sales are usually reported. By the normal route, Toyota routed both Dodge and Chrysler, with around 137,500 sales; Honda came close, with around 128,000, but the former sales leader is now #2 to Toyota. Dodge beat Chrysler, by around 97,000 to 94,000; and everyone stomped on the Kia Sedona, which gained many sales over 2014, but not enough to be a serious player.
Together, though, the FCA twins garnered around 191,000 sales, or around 39% of the market — much higher than Toyota’s market share of 28%.
In Canada, there was, as usual, no contest: Dodge came in #1, by a huge margin.
The Ram ProMaster City, which started taking off in November, continued to win converts in December. The smaller ProMaster City’s sales were up 55% over November — which was, itself, up 157% from October. In just two months, ProMaster City sales tripled.
The Ford Transit Connect still leads the market, but the ProMaster City outsold the combined totals of the Nissan NV200 and its Chevrolet City Express clone. A soft stretch earlier in the year hurt total 2015 sales, but the ProMaster City did outsell the City Express for the year.
The ProMaster City also outsold the full-size GMC Savanna van in December. A bigger “bragging right” is outselling the combined Mercedes Sprinter and Metris — in December, and coming in just 1,544 sales behind the well-established Daimler for the year (Mercedes now combines Sprinter and Metris sales).
Ford still dominates, with 54% of all full-size van sales and 57% of small van sales, but the ProMasters are moving in the right direction.
Back in 1941, no one would have believed that a small vehicle intended to replace the horse and motorcycle for military scouts could become one of the hottest automotive brands in the world today.
Yet 75 years later, Jeep kicked off its 75th anniversary year with a worldwide record of more than 1.2 million (1,237,582) sales — up by 22% from last year, blowing right past the goal set earlier by Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley.
This marks the fourth consecutive record year for the Jeep brand.
Jeep racked up 966,643 sales in North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico), 78% of the total. 2014 was the first year for Jeep to hit a million sales worldwide, and North America almost hit that mark by itself in the 2015 calendar year.
In World War II, Jeeps were built in several countries from knock-down kits. Now there are factories in Italy, Brazil, and China, as well as in Toledo, Belvidere, and the Motor City itself.
In 1943, American Jeeps arrived in Italy with the Army. Today, Italian Jeeps are coming to America. As the late Danny Thomas, a long-time Jeep spokesperson, might have said, “Holy Toleldo!”
The newest Jeep had 60% of its 2015 sales outside of North America. More than 30% of Compass sales were in other nations, as well.
Jeep is the best-selling American brand in Japan and is the fastest-growing brand in Europe.
In the U.S. Jeep isn’t just the top brand of utilities, it’s also the No. 6 brand overall. With just six models, it has the second-highest average sales per model of any of the leading brands, beaten only by Ford — and the margin isn’t all that big.
In December, the Jeep Cherokee outsold every domestic crossover or SUV except the Ford Escape. It was #5 out of 102 different utility models on the market. The Grand Cherokee was #7. 13% of all the crossovers and SUVs sold in the U.S. last year were Jeeps.
With a new plant in Brazil, and expanding Jeep production in the U.S., Jeep seems to be on its way to reaching the two-million-sales goal laid out in the plan presented in 2014.
Though Fiat Chrysler leaders have worked hard to forge a single company, with surprising success, outsiders can still look at how well Fiat-based designs have taken hold in the U.S.
Fiat-based cars sold in the US can be classed as “mostly pure Fiats” (anything with the Fiat, Maserati, or Alfa Romeo badge, and the ProMaster City); “heavily-reworked Fiats” (ProMaster); and cars using heavily adapted versions of Fiat platforms and architectures (Renegade, Cherokee, Dart, and 200).
We are further looking at whether these cars have needed heavy discounts to sell — by and large, a judgement call (Ram pickups have hefty rebates, but these are a response to GM and Ford’s actions).
The Fiat-based cars seem to be doing well, though the biggest sellers, for various reasons, are traditional models. The new minivans will shift around 80,000-100,000 cars to the Fiat-based side in 2016 (assuming they don’t start selling until March), possibly more in 2017; and Compass will shift platforms at some point.
For the moment, Chrysler rests on a backbone of previously-engineered, revised products, and the Ram’s and Wrangler’s success will help keep it there; but the Fiat-based cars are getting more critical acclaim with each release and should eventually be the majority, until FCA truly merges its platforms and architectures and the lines between “Italy” and “Detroit” are blurred beyond readability.
Canada is, by a huge margin, the second largest Mopar market.
The former Chrysler brands (“all Mopars”) posted a slight gain, selling an extra 5,500 or so cars and trucks. Fiat plunged by 30% on low gasoline prices and reports of early quality gaffes.
Ram led the way for FCA, with a 3% increase in sales and a total larger than any other FCA Canada brand. Dodge was #2, well above Jeep, with 86,598 sales – thanks to the Dodge Caravan and Dodge Journey. Dodge’s 7% drop was in roughly similar parts due to lack of Caravans during the factory changeover and a 60% drop in Dart sales.
Jeep gained the most, by far (13% ahead), but it was still #3 in FCA’s stable. Chrysler was far below the big three Mopar brands, dropping 1% due to slower 200 sales, with a marginal increase in Town & Country sales and an 8% boost in 300s.
The trend was clearly towards larger cars, trucks, and SUVs, with an emphasis on SUVs. While FCA US has put a great deal of time and money into making more attractive cars, Canadians, like US Americans, are still flocking to crossovers and pickups.
The Ram pickup outsold every other product, nearly doubling the #2 Caravan’s sales. The Jeep Cherokee came in at #3, outselling the next Jeep (Wrangler) by a third. The Cherokee enjoyed a 41% sales boost, and one can only hope the noted transmission issues on early Cherokees do not come home to roost. The Dodge Journey was #4, and a hefty step down from the Cherokee.
The only traditional car to be break 10,000 sales was the Chrysler 200. The Charger (#10) was barely meaningful in the sales charts despite a 22% gain.
Nailing down the bottom of the sales charts were most of the Fiats, though the 500 had mildly respectable sales. The 500L was relatively more popular in Canada than in the US, but sales fell quite a bit.
One can see why FCA is careful indeed with its minivans and the Journey, looking at Canadian sales — and keeping in mind that the head of FCA US sales is also the head of FCA Canada.
Tables based on data from Bill Cawthon.
FCA Canada hit the highest sales since Maxwell Motors of Canada was founded, with 293,061 cars and trucks moving out of showrooms — just 3,057 more than in 2014, but enough for both a record and a place as the top selling car company in Canada.
Jeep had more than a 13% gain, with total sales of 79,680, beating its prior annual sales record as far back as November; the Jeep Cherokee was the sales leader each month of the year, and took over a third of total Jeep sales.
Ram set an annual record with 96,744 sales, up by 3% from 2014. The Ram pickups, not surprisingly, also set a record, with a 4% increase; they were the country’s second best selling vehicle.
The company’s minivans were responsible for 2/3 of all Canadian minivan sales, the bulk going to Dodge.
Over in Mexico, sales went up by 11%, the best annual sales since 2009. Fiat and Alfa Romeo both set records. Dodge sales rose by 25%, Fiat by 30%, Mitsubishi by 21%, and Ram by 46%, with Wrangler setting its best annual and monthly sales alike. Total Mexican sales, including Mitsubishi and a greater Fiat presence, were around 1/3 of Canadian sales. The country is the third largest market for “traditional Chrysler” cars.
More details on Canadian and Mexican sales will follow.
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. Allpar Outlet services are provided by and are the sole responsibility of Automark Solutions. • Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.