Sergio Marchionne promised to wean Chrysler off its reliance on fleet sales, shortly after taking over leadership of the company. Despite increased commercial-vehicle sales, Chrysler finished 2012 with 74% of its U.S. sales going to retail buyers, rather than fleets, an improvement over 2011, when 72% of sales were retail.
General Motors also sold 74% of its cars at retail, while Ford sold just 70% on the retail market. That makes Ford the fleet-queen leader for 2012.
Imports tend to have nearly all their sales in the retail market, though part of the difference may be having fewer truck sales. Nissan has the largest fleet share at 15% (85% retail), possibly partly due to the success of their commercial vans, but likely because of the Versa’s popularity in rental fleets (it combines a low price with a relatively large interior). Toyota was 90% retail, Honda 98%, and Hyundai-Kia 90%.
The fleet sales leader for the year in pure numbers was Ford, with 674,000 fleet sales, but GM was close behind, with 673,300. Chrysler came in at 429,000; Toyota was the next largest, with half that number.
Some fleet sales are desirable (many commercial truck sales, police cars, etc), while others are less so (near-cost sales to rental fleets). Increasing Chrysler’s retail share while reportedly increasing sales of police vehicles is likely an indication that the company has been getting more credibility among ordinary customers.
Dodge and SRT are rejoining the Trans Am Series, with Miller Racing fielding two new Dodge Challengers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15 and 16. Driving will be four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, making his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class. The cars appear to be driven by 5.7 liter Hemi engines. [...]
Though the Ram 1500 just had major upgrades, another refresh is due in 2017, to deal with the new F-150s and a possible Chevrolet Silverado update. So far not much is known about these trucks, except that they will likely include the Pentastar engine upgrade, might include the rumored 5.7 Hemi V8 upgrade, and are likely to have undergone weight reduction therapy [...]
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It has been years since Allpar first reported on the future launch of a new Jeep Wagoneer, and the dropping of the Dodge Caravan. With Wagoneer on the books, Chrysler planners may have had mixed feelings about the sudden success of the Dodge Durango. They wanted to drop the Durango for a more-profitable Wagoneer (essentially a Durango with the Grand Cherokee suspension design [...]