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Canada, Mexico sales rise

canada and mexico salesChrysler had another good month in Canada and stopped a string of losses in Mexico with the release of July sales figures.

In Canada, the company had its 56th month of year-over-year sales growth, extending the longest streak in the company’s history and setting a new July record. The retail sales (24,164) were the best for any month in Chrysler Canada history, and helped cement the company’s place as Canada’s best-selling automaker.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 had its first full month of sales in July with 1,331 units sold, a 44% rise over the old 2014 200 last year. Ram set a record, with 8,095 trucks sold, beating July 2013’s 7,854 and keeping its spot as the second best selling vehicle in Canada. Wrangler set an all-time monthly record with 2,797 sold.

can-mex

The Dodge Grand Caravan boosted sales from 5,286 to 5,809; the Caravan is responsible for as many sales as all other Canadian minivans combined.

In Mexico, Chrysler brand sales rose 59%, Jeep 16%, and Ram 56%, with a total of 7,255 sales across the country (of which 629 were Fiats and Alfa Romeos). The slight increase in sales (2%) over July 2013 stops months of sales drops, which appear to have largely resulted from dropping a line of rebadged Hyundais, now sold by Hyundai itself.

An era ends with FCA merger

Fiat-1899
Fiat shareholders today approved the merger of Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The margin was well above the required two-thirds majority with only 8% of shareholders opposing the merger.

The only remaining barrier is the possibility that all the shareholders voting against the merger could exercise their buyout rights, which would exceed the €500 million (~$671 million) cap on funding for buyouts.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the newly merged company has been counting on approval of the merger and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange to provide the needed cash for his aggressive five-year plan.

The vote means the end of Fiat’s history as an Italian automaker just 21 days after the company celebrated the 115th anniversary of its founding in Turin in 1899.

Chrysler’s booming July sales

Chrysler-Chart-0714

Chrysler Group reported sales increased 20% to 167,667 units last month. The results not only extended the group’s record to 52 consecutive months of sales growth, they marked the group’s best July since 2005.

All brands finished the month in the black, led by a 41% increase in Jeep sales which set a new July record.

“Chrysler Group had a solid July as each brand recorded sales gains on our way to a 20 percent year-over-year increase, our strongest July sales in nine years,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales.

Looking at by-model results, the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, Dodge Dart, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, and Ram Cargo Van all posted their best-ever July sales. The Fiat 500L set a new monthly sales record as sales rose 49%. Dart sales were up 23%, marking the third-consecutive month the smallest Dodge has set a sales record. Wrangler sales were up 14%, to the highest volume of any Jeep model. Cherokee sales rose 11% from June 2014 as it closes on the 100,000-unit mark.

U.S. industry sales figures for July are internally projected at an estimated 16.8 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

CHRYSLER GROUP LLC SALES: JULY 2014 & CYTD
Make & Model Jul-14 Jul-13 Change CYTD 2014 CYTD 2013 Change
Chrysler 200 8,159 8,122 0.5% 53,337 83,137 -35.8%
Chrysler 300 3,926 3,796 3.4% 29,940 33,241 -9.9%
Town & Country 11,370 8,060 41.1% 81,246 67,439 20.5%
CHRYSLER BRAND 23,455 19,978 17.4% 164,523 183,817 -10.5%
Dart 7,483 6,064 23.4% 45,450 51,013 -10.9%
Avenger 4,318 6,131 -29.6% 44,781 67,149 -33.3%
Charger 5,539 5,200 6.5% 55,306 57,181 -3.3%
Challenger 4,294 4,271 0.5% 30,575 34,253 -10.7%
Viper 46 94 -51.1% 400 320 25.0%
Journey 7,158 6,508 10.0% 54,309 48,944 11.0%
Caravan 9,473 8,583 10.4% 81,539 68,055 19.8%
Durango 4,807 5,135 -6.4% 37,682 33,440 12.7%
DODGE BRAND 43,118 41,986 2.7% 350,042 360,400 -2.9%
Compass 5,411 5,222 3.6% 38,503 32,000 20.3%
Patriot 7,793 7,572 2.9% 51,721 45,687 13.2%
Wrangler 16,388 14,404 13.8% 102,125 92,132 10.8%
Liberty  0 60 Disc. 0 6,048 Disc.
Grand Cherokee 15,169 15,019 1.0% 104,782 95,815 9.4%
Cherokee 14,827 0 NEW 95,259 0 NEW
JEEP BRAND 59,588 42,277 40.9% 392,390 271,682 44.4%
Ram Pickup & Chassis-Cab 35,621 31,314 13.8% 239,481 201,633 18.8%
Cargo Van 861 764 12.7% 5,651 5,507 2.6%
ProMaster Van 1,217 0 NEW 6,924 0 NEW
RAM BRAND 37,699 32,078 17.5% 252,056 207,140 21.7%
Fiat 500 2,371 2,821 -16.0% 20,550 23,892 -14.0%
Fiat 500L 1,436 962 49.3% 8,229 1,503 447.5%
FIAT BRAND 3,807 3,783 0.6% 28,779 25,395 13.3%
GRAND TOTAL 167,667 140,102 19.7% 1,187,790 1,048,434 13.3%
TOTAL CAR 36,136 36,499 -1.0% 280,339 350,231 -20.0%
TOTAL TRUCK 131,531 103,603 27.0% 907,451 698,203 30.0%

Shareholder vote tomorrow

FCA-Vote-Web
The Ordinary and Extraordinary Shareholder’s Meeting of Fiat S.p.A. kicks off tomorrow at 11:00 AM CET (5:00 AM Eastern).

The main item on the agenda is one of the biggest changes since the company was founded on July 11, 1899: will Fiat no longer be an Italian company?

Despite negative recommendations from some proxy advisors, industry watchers expect the merger of Fiat and Chrysler to receive the two-thirds majority needed for approval. The only real risk is that shareholders and creditors opposed to the merger might exercise exit options in excess of the €500 million (about $669 million) cap allowed under the terms of the merger.

Allpar expects to have at least unofficial results about the same time Chrysler Group releases its July sales report.

Ram alone in honest HD pickup ratings?

towing

After the recent discovery that Ford had been tossing out the spare tire, jack, radio, and console of its F-450 to make it (barely) fit into the weight rating of a class three truck (while increasing its payload slightly but cutting the base weight), Larry Vellequette of Automotive News noted that GM had started playing the same game on its own trucks to boost payload ratings. In GM’s case, a full bumper was actually jettisoned, and lighter wheels were used.

Both companies rationalized their choices based on the fact that companies can choose to delete these items from their orders. However, generally, those who delete the radio, spare, jack, bumper, and such, do so in order to install their own equipment, which presumably has greater than zero mass. The end result is that the advertised payload is not what typical buyers can expect, and in Ford’s case, a class four truck can pretend to be in class three.

Ram and Toyota both use standard curb weight as the basis for their payload and weight ratings, as per the SAE standard. While Ram has only officially announced adherence to SAE standards for the 2015 model year, their 2014 and 2015 figures are nearly identical. Toyota has held to SAE standards for some time, but they only sell class one pickups in the United States, while Ram sells in classes one through three.

2015 300 spotted

2015 Chrysler 300C spy shot

Robert C. Evans wrote, “I caught these right outside my office this morning. It appears to be an updated 2015 Chrysler 300, with a much larger front grill than the current generation. It seems it is almost returning to the original 300 grill and squared off front end. You will also see integrated exhaust in the rear much like the 2015 Chrysler 200.”

Most of the sheet metal should be similar to the current version, as the 2015 will be a relatively minor refresh — except for the use of eight-speed automatics across the board and UConnect upgrades.


1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee


Dodge cars, 1967-1980


Driven: Fiat 500L


Chrysler Institute of Engineering

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