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October from a Chrysler perspective

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler reported the highest October sales growth of the domestic automakers. It was also the only Detroit automaker to increase its market share. In fact, looking at the first ten months of sales in the 2012 calendar year, Chrysler is second only to Toyota in market share gain: Chrysler has gained 0.8 point of share, while GM has lost 1.8 points and Ford has lost 1.3 points.

At the end of October, Chrysler was more than 165,000 sales ahead of Honda and looks to be secure in fourth place behind Toyota. Chrysler continues to outsell Honda on a monthly basis. Nissan, which only a couple of years ago, was projected to overtake Chrysler dropping Chrysler to sixth, is now over a quarter-million sales behind.

The Dodge Grand Caravan is over 11,000 sales ahead of the Honda Odyssey with two months to go. In October, the Caravan outsold the Odyssey by 891 units. The Chrysler Town & County is in a tight race with the Toyota Sienna for third, but is currently leading.

The Chrysler 300 remains the best-selling premium domestic sedan. Last month, it outsold all Lincoln models combined. It also outsold every Buick and every Cadillac passenger car.

The Dodge Dart was just 40 sales behind the Chevrolet Sonic in October sales.

The United States is likely one of the only places in the world where the Fiat 500 is outselling the Volkswagen Golf: it’s outselling the combined totals of the Golf, GTI and Golf R. In October, the 500 also outsold the Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, every MINI Cooper and Cooper S model, every Scion model, the Chevy Spark, the Mazda2 and the Smart ForTwo. It was just 53 sales behind the Honda Fit in October.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to lead in its segment. The Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Explorer sell in larger numbers, but they aren’t truly competitive with the Jeep, especially after the Explorer’s transformation from a SUV to a crossover. With honest-trail-rated capability and the awesome SRT8, the Cherokee is head and shoulders above the rest.

The Jeep Wrangler continues to outsell every other body-on-frame SUV. No vehicle that can come close to the Wrangler in sheer off-road capability comes close to it in sales.

Rank Make & Model Oct-12 Rank Make & Model YTD 2012
5 Ram Pickup 25,222 8 Ram Pickup 238,815
23 Jeep Grand Cherokee 11,919 25 Jeep Grand Cherokee 123,994
24 Jeep Wrangler 11,310 26 Jeep Wrangler 119,787
26 Dodge Grand Caravan 10,603 27 Dodge Grand Caravan 118,730
35 Chrysler 200 8,758 30 Chrysler 200 109,025
41 Chrysler Town & Country 8,281 37 Chrysler Town & Country 95,850
45 Dodge Avenger 7,637 45 Dodge Avenger 82,376
52 Dodge Journey 5,955 55 Dodge Charger 68,409
59 Dodge Dart 5,455 57 Jeep Liberty (D) 67,773
64 Chrysler 300 5,183 60 Dodge Journey 65,306
67 Dodge Charger 4,924 63 Chrysler 300 58,813
73 Jeep Patriot 4,209 68 Jeep Patriot 53,270
75 Jeep Liberty (D) 4,099 87 Fiat 500 36,462
82 Fiat 500 3,720 88 Dodge Challenger 36,309
92 Dodge Durango 3,230 92 Jeep Compass 34,389
104 Dodge Challenger 2,686 95 Dodge Durango 33,282
112 Jeep Compass 2,486 150 Dodge Dart 14,709
219 Ram Cargo Van 385 168 Dodge Caliber (D) 10,113
251 Dodge Caliber (D) 92 210 Ram Cargo Van 5,664
261 Dodge Nitro (D) 29 231 Dodge Nitro (D) 3,269
277 Ram Dakota (D) 2 267 Ram Dakota (D) 490
284 Chrysler PT Cruiser (D) 0 284 Dodge Viper (D) 20
285 Chrysler Sebring (D) 0 294 Chrysler PT Cruiser (D) 0
286 Dodge Viper (D) 0 295 Chrysler Sebring (D) 0
291 Jeep Commander (D) 0 299 Jeep Commander (D) 0
Manufacturers reported sales for 308 models in October

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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