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Jeep, Fiat lead growth in Australia

Jeep-GC-Uluru-Australia-Web

Whichever way one cuts it, Chrysler Group or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they outperformed the Australian light vehicle market in the first quarter of 2014.

Total light vehicle sales declined 2.4%, but Chrysler Group deliveries were up 19.3% and FCA turnover, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati, soared 41.4%.

Jeep brand was the volume leader with sales rising 28.1% to 6,691 units, led by the Grand Cherokee which rocketed up 45.5% and hit No. 15 in the overall sales rankings.

Dodge brand, which means the Journey, finished the quarter 3.6% ahead and beat its Fiat clone, the Freemont, by six sales.

Chrysler brand reported a 41.9% shortfall as 300 deliveries fell 41.3% and Grand Voyager sales dropped by 50.0%.

Chrysler Group Q1 market share increased to 2.93% from 2.4% in 2013.

On the Italian side of the house, sales were up 249.8% with both Fiat brand and Alfa Romeo delivering triple-digits gains.  Sales of the Maserati Quattroporte and the new Ghibli overcame a slump in sales of the Coupe for  a 16.2% improvement. Ferrari was the only brand in the red, down 26.5% as first-quarter sales dropped from 34 to 25.

AUSTRALIA CHRYSLER/FIAT SALES: FIRST QUARTER 2014
Sales Rank Brand Q1/2014 Q1/2013 Change Share Q1/14 Share Q1/13
15 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4,117 2,830 45.5% 1.61% 1.08%
65 Jeep Compass 1,058 886 19.4% 0.41% 0.34%
75 Jeep Wrangler 810 844 -4.0% 0.32% 0.32%
88 Jeep Patriot 706 663 6.5% 0.28% 0.25%
117 Dodge Journey 434 419 3.6% 0.17% 0.16%
130 Chrysler 300C 351 598 -41.3% 0.14% 0.23%
245 Chrysler Grand Voyager 22 44 -50.0% 0.01% 0.02%
Chrysler Group Total 7,498 6,284 19.3% 2.93% 2.40%
80 Fiat/Abarth 500 764 231 230.7% 0.30% 0.09%
91 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 639 234 173.1% 0.25% 0.09%
118 Fiat Freemont 428 7 6014.3% 0.17% 0.00%
154 Fiat Punto 221 0 NEW 0.09% NEW
192 Fiat Panda 90 0 NEW 0.04% NEW
212 Fiat Scudo 63 54 16.7% 0.02% 0.02%
220 Alfa Romeo Mi.To 53 68 -22.1% 0.02% 0.03%
240 Ferrari 25 34 -26.5% 0.01% 0.01%
246 Maserati Ghibli/Quattroporte 22 0 NEW 0.01% NEW
249 Maserati Coupe 21 37 -43.2% 0.01% 0.01%
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Total 9,824 6,949 41.4% 3.84% 2.65%
Manufacturers reported sales for 299 models in the first quarter

Data source: Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries; IHS VFACTS quoted on Matt Gasnier’s Best Selling Cars Blog.

Thanks to Hemi 265 for the tip!

Chrysler still tops in Canadian sales

Chrysler-Canada-No-1-Web

While Canadian by-model results haven’t been announced, preliminary manufacturer sales went live today. They confirm Chrysler Canada retained its position as the top-selling manufacturer in March with a 2,091-unit lead over second-place Ford for the month and a 7,277-unit cushion for the first quarter of 2014.

Chrysler Group market share increased slightly, from 15.40% in March 2013 to 15.59% of sales last month.

CANADIAN LIGHT VEHICLE SALES BY MANUFACTURER: MARCH 2014 & CYTD
Manufacturer Mar-14 Mar-13 Change CYTD 2014 CYTD 2013 Change Share 2014 Share 2013
Chrysler Canada 24,481 24,124 1.5% 60,420 57,816 4.5% 15.59% 15.40%
Ford Motor Company 22,390 25,082 -10.7% 53,143 57,567 -7.7% 14.26% 16.01%
General Motors 21,790 20,218 7.8% 45,762 47,966 -4.6% 13.87% 12.90%
Toyota Motor Sales 17,397 16,286 6.8% 38,778 36,499 6.2% 11.08% 10.39%
Honda 15,292 14,497 5.5% 31,820 29,540 7.7% 9.74% 9.25%
Hyundai 12,707 12,010 5.8% 27,516 28,110 -2.1% 8.09% 7.67%
Nissan North America 10,470 8,461 23.7% 23,634 18,718 26.3% 6.67% 5.40%
Mazda NAO 6,536 8,153 -19.8% 14,564 16,738 -13.0% 4.16% 5.20%
Volkswagen Group 6,411 8,161 -21.4% 16,626 18,188 -8.6% 4.08% 5.21%
Kia 5,881 5,877 0.1% 14,150 13,711 3.2% 3.74% 3.75%
Daimler AG 4,035 3,820 5.6% 8,641 7,810 10.6% 2.57% 2.44%
Subaru 3,476 3,117 11.5% 8,185 6,819 20.0% 2.21% 1.99%
BMW Group 3,057 3,491 -12.4% 7,245 7,595 -4.6% 1.95% 2.23%
Mitsubishi 1,775 2,006 -11.5% 4,779 4,764 0.3% 1.13% 1.28%
Jaguar Land Rover 943 731 29.0% 2,129 1,609 32.3% 0.60% 0.47%
Volvo Cars NA 419 415 1.0% 1,000 997 0.3% 0.27% 0.26%
Suzuki 0 231 -100.0% 0 765 -100.0% 0.00% 0.15%
Total Light Vehicle 157,060 156,680 0.2% 358,392 355,212 0.9% 100.00% 100.00%
Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consulting


Canada, Mexico, Maserati sales

canmex

Chrysler Canada announced its 52nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth, with March 2014 sales coming in at 24,649, 2% more than March 2013.  “Consistently strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500 trucks have helped to cement Chrysler Canada’s position as the number one-selling automotive company through the first quarter of 2014,” said Dave Buckingham, Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Canada.

The company only announced increases in its initial release; these include a 5% rise in Ram sales (8,075), a monthly and first-quarter sales record for the brand.  Jeep posted a record month with 5,081 sales, 41% over March 2013. The top three Jeeps sold in Canada were Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler (in the US, the order was Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Cherokee).

Minivan sales were up for both the month of March 2014 as well as the first quarter; Chrysler and Dodge minivans are 7 out of every ten sold in Canada. Chrysler Town & Country posted a record March in 2014 with 1,111 sales, a 40% rise. Year to date, Grand Caravan had 11,130 sales, making it the fourth best seller in Canada (Ram was #2 with 18,367), year to date.

Chrysler de Mexico was not so fortunate as Chrysler Canada, due largely to the end of a deal where Hyundais were sold as Dodges; subtracting these sales from last year’s data might yield sales gains of the “true” Dodges.  The company sold 438 Cherokees, and 511 Grand Cherokees.

Jeep overall sold 2,101 vehicles, 33% better than in March 2013; Dodge sold 2,336, led by Journey (819); Ram sold 905. Fiat and Alfa Romeo, together, sold 663 vehicles, led by Fiat 500 (391), a 36% sales rise.

As for Maserati: March sales rose 337% for the brand as a whole in the United States in March, meaning that the company sold over three times as many cars as in March 2013. The company has boasted triple-digit growth for each of the last ten months. Maserati has 83 dealerships; their primary cars are reportedly both based on heavily modified versions of Chrysler’s 300C, with unique front suspensions, bodies, and engines. The $66,900 Ghibli has all wheel drive and a Ferrari-built twin-turbo 404-horsepower V6 (Europeans can get a VM diesel), while the over-$100,000 Quattroporte has the same V6 with an optional 523-horsepower twin-turbo V8. A two-door Gran Turismo line continues.

Chrysler hits 4 years of continuous sales growth

Chrysler-Sales-0313
Chrysler Group reported a 13.0% increase in March sales, easily beating analyst estimates and marking the 48th month of year-over-year sales improvements. First-quarter sales rose 11.1% compared to the January-March period in 2013.

The company sold or leased 193,915 cars and light trucks last month, well ahead of the 171,606 deliveries made in March 2013 and up 25.2% from February 2014′s total. It was the company’s best March performance since 2007.

Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat all beat their numbers from last March with Jeep’s 46.9% jump leading the way. Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales, reported, “Our Ram pickup truck posted its best March sales in 10 years.”

The Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Fiat 500L, and Dodge Journey each set all-time sales records and the Jeep Wrangler and Ram Cargo Van posted their best March results. With its 27.5% increase, the Dodge Grand Caravan had the largest year-over-year percentage sales increase. The Ram pickup sales rose 25.7%. The Jeep Cherokee had its second best sales month since retail deliveries began in October.

Light truck sales rose 34.3%, while passenger car results were down 24.6% as inventories of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger are sold down. Minivan sales rose for both Chrysler (14%) and Dodge (28%) with the Journey and Durango also rising (25% and 22%).

Jeep Patriot offroad

Jeep Patriot continues to easily outsell Compass. Both posted increases over last year — 4% for Compass, 14% for Patriot. Grand Cherokee was again the top selling Jeep with nearly 16,000 sales, a 26% increase; Wrangler followed with 14,481 (up 12%). Cherokee roughly hit the sales of Compass and Patriot combined, with 13,796 sales.

Dodge Dart sales were off 24.2% compared to March 2013 but rose 25.5% from February 2014’s figures. Chrysler 300 sales fell slightly due to loss of the base model, but these sales appear to have been picked up by Charger, which rose 15% over last year. Challenger sales were down 20%, possibly due to the harsh winter weather (especially in areas which normally do not get snow).  ProMaster continues to move slowly, with just over 1,100 sales, despite widespread availability; that was still enough to beat Ram Cargo Van.

Chrysler Group finished the month of March with a 71 days supply of inventory (525,927 units). U.S. industry sales figures for March are internally projected at an estimated 16.2 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

Chrysler Group U.S. Sales: March 2014 and Year to Date (YTD)

Model March 2014 March 2013 Change YTD 2014 YTD 2013 Change
Chrysler 200 7,531 16,593 -54.6% 30,489 36,885 -17.3%
Chrysler 300 5,367 5,686 -5.6% 13,000 16,034 -18.9%
Chrysler Town & Country 13,242 11,626 13.9% 28,994 26,765 8.3%
CHRYSLER BRAND 26,140 33,905 -22.9% 72,483 79,684 -9.0%
Dodge Caliber 0 0 Disc. 0 45 Disc.
Dodge Dart 6,135 8,091 -24.2% 16,074 22,965 -30.0%
Dodge Avenger 8,756 12,439 -29.6% 21,740 32,047 -32.2%
Dodge Charger 10,816 9,386 15.2% 24,956 26,098 -4.4%
Dodge Challenger 4,882 6,132 -20.4% 11,034 14,540 -24.1%
SRT Viper 67 3 NEW 158 4 NEW
Dodge Journey 9,125 7,283 25.3% 23,024 22,992 0.1%
Dodge Caravan 14,165 11,110 27.5% 32,025 26,490 20.9%
Dodge Durango 6,629 5,441 21.8% 16,213 13,570 19.5%
DODGE  60,575 59,885 1.2% 145,224 158,751 -8.5%
Jeep Compass 5,335 5,111 4.4% 13,757 12,003 14.6%
Jeep Patriot 8,431 7,420 13.6% 20,474 18,997 7.8%
Jeep Wrangler 14,481 12,901 12.2% 34,674 31,846 8.9%
Jeep Liberty 0 1,408 Disc. 0 4,972 Disc.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 15,940 12,629 26.2% 40,838 33,133 23.3%
Jeep Cherokee 13,796 0 NEW 36,096 0 NEW
JEEP 57,983 39,469 46.9% 145,839 100,951 44.5%
Ram Pickup, Chassis Cab 42,532 33,831 25.7% 96,906 77,594 24.9%
Ram Cargo Van 841 709 18.6% 1,777 1,760 1.0%
Ram ProMaster Van 1,106 0 NEW 2,310 0 NEW
RAM BRAND 44,479 34,540 28.8% 100,993 79,354 27.3%
Fiat 500 3,316 3,807 -12.9% 8,473 9,612 -11.8%
Fiat 500L 1,422 0 NEW 2,952 0 NEW
FIAT 4,738 3,807 24.5% 11,425 9,612 18.9%
TOTAL CAR 46,870 62,137 -24.6% 125,924 158,230 -20.4%
TOTAL TRUCK 147,045 109,469 34.3% 350,040 270,122 29.6%
GRAND TOTAL 193,915 171,606 13.0% 475,964 428,352 11.1%


Evening news briefs

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• Chrysler Group will remain a legal U.S. entity even after its merger with Fiat SpA into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

According to comments reported by Automotive News, CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company’s name and legal form will likely change (think “Chrysler Group Inc.” instead of “LLC”) but that’s a minor detail he said was “not worth being discussed.”

Marchionne was talking to reporters during the Fiat annual general meeting in Turin.

• Fiat is transitioning its annual report to an online presentation. Allpar readers can access the report by clicking here.

• Despite the current contretemps between the U.S., Europe and Russia, Reuters notes that Fiat Chrysler continues to discuss the possibility of opening a plant in Russia that would produce Jeeps and light commercial vehicles.

• Bloomberg’s monthly poll of auto industry analysts predicts Chrysler March sales will rise an average of 10% compared to a year ago. That’s the highest growth seen for any of the top-tier automakers. Individual analyst estimates range from 7% forecast by Alec Gutierrez of Kelley Blue Book to 13% from Patrick Archambault of Goldman Sachs. The crystal ball says GM sales will increase 0.8% while Ford sales will increase by 1.1%. Among the leading exports, Toyota is forecast to be the only one of the leading Japanese companies to report increased sales, up 1.3%, while Honda is seen dropping 1.8% and Nissan breaks even. Predictions for the SAAR (seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate) average 15.8 million, up 500,000 sales from March 2013. March sales will be reported tomorrow.



Retail sales up, fleet down

Chrysler has gone from fighting with Honda and Nissan for fourth place in retail sales, to nipping at Ford’s heels. Automotive News reported that Chrysler sold 116,500 cars to retail buyers in February, close to Ford’s 125,900 — and well above Honda’s 98,400, or Nissan’s roughly-92,000.

Chrysler has been increasing retail sales and dropping fleet sales consistently for years, as the attractiveness of its cars and its reputation, in general, has improved. For February, Automotive News noted that 75% of Chrysler’s sales were to retail buyers, the same as at GM and better than Ford’s 68%.

Fleet-Sales

Nissan, Chrysler, and Hyundai all converging, as Chrysler drops its fleet sales and the Asian brands take up the slack; Nissan and Hyundai were at 80% and 81% respectively. For Nissan, that’s a 17% increase in fleet sales (Hyundai fell 9%).

Chrysler was the #3 automaker in America in fleet sales and #4 in retail sales, in February; Toyota sells 88% of its cars to retail customers, and was #2 in retail sales and #5 in fleet sales for February. Honda only sells around 2,000 cars per month to fleets.

Year to date, Chrysler sold 23% of its cars to fleets, versus 29% in January-February 2013. The trend should continue as the 2015 Chrysler 200 gains a firmer footing in retail sales than the outgoing model.


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