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Retail sales up, fleets down again

by David Zatz on

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Chrysler is continuing to drop its reliance on fleet sales, according to Automotive News data released yesterday. Under Daimler and Cerberus, Chrysler had been replacing lost retail sales with fleets; now, Ford is the American leader in the percentage of sales to fleets, while Chrysler has the highest percentage of retail sales of the Big Three.

Import automakers generally sell most of their vehicles to retail customers, but Nissan and Hyundai have increasingly been pitching to car rental agencies and other corporate buyers; Nissan now sells 20% of its vehicles that way, with Hyundai/Kia at 17%. The next highest import brand is Toyota with 10%.

Based on January 2014 sales, Chrysler has made it to the #4 best seller position among retail (with 99,600 retail sales), and #3 in fleet sales (27,500). Toyota is the biggest seller to end-users in America, with 132,300 sales beating GM’s 113,100 and Ford’s 113,700. However, Ford had nearly 41,000 fleet sales, with GM at 40,400, while Toyota had just 14,000. Honda, which sold 89,800 cars to individuals, sold barely any to fleets (1,800), according to the industry publication.

Last year, Chrysler’s retail sales percentage was 74%, better than Ford’s 72% and close to GM’s 75%. Chrysler had the largest increase in retail sales in January 2014 (compared with January 2013) — 14%, while GM and Ford both lost sales and Toyota remained steady. All the Big Three lost fleet sales, but Chrysler lost just 9% while GM lost 18% and Ford lost 14%.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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