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October from a Chrysler perspective

by Bill Cawthon on

October was another good month for Chrysler, whose 22% sales increase beat the hometown competition by a mile: Ford sales fell, which the pundits attribute to the changeover to the new F series pickup but was more due to the fact Ford and Lincoln car sales tanked. General Motors beat last October by 417 sales.

Chrysler-200-Perspective-Web

Chrysler not only beat its numbers from October 2013, it beat September 2014, as well.

Jeep continued to blaze new trails: it was the bestselling SUV brand in October. Jeep is just 8,564 sales behind Ford for the first ten months of 2014, and there’s a good possibility it could be the top SUV brand for the year.

Jeep added more volume than any other brand in October, with 18,819 more deliveries than in 2013.  Jeep has also added an industry-leading  179,821 extra sales in the year-to-date column.

The Ram pickup was No. 3 in the overall October sales rankings and  just 8,440 behind the Toyota Camry for the January-October period.

The Town & Country and Grand Caravan were first and second in the minivan segment, with Town & Country gaining and Caravan falling back somewhat (Town & Country likely holds higher profit margins, with its higher entry price). For the first ten months of the year, the Town & Country is 15,408 sales ahead of the third-place Toyota Sienna.

Chrysler got 77.0% of its sales from light trucks in October. For the first ten months of 2014, the percentage is 76.7%, much higher than the 68.3% share from the same period last year. But the market is playing to Chrysler’s strengths. With gasoline prices down to 2010 levels and likely to drop even more, sales of pickups, SUVs, and vans are already at one of the highest levels in automotive history. Ford got 71.5% of its October sales from trucks (minivans also count as “light trucks”).

Light-Truck-Chart-Web

Chrysler’s share of the total October market was 13.3%, up from 11.6% a year ago. But Chrysler’s share of the light truck market was 18.5%.

The Chrysler 200 broke into the top 20 cars in October, coming in at No. 16. Largely unnoticed was the 200’s status as the fourth-bestselling American-badged car. Only the Chevy Cruze, Ford Fusion, and Ford Focus outsold Chrysler’s newest sedan last month.

The Chrysler 300 outsold every car from Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln in October, despite slipping in sales from the same period last year.

The Challenger couldn’t repeat its performance from September, when it outsold the Ford Mustang, but it was only 425 sales behind Ford’s pony car last month.

OCTOBER’S TOP TWENTIES
PASSENGER CARS LIGHT TRUCKS AND MPVs
Rank Make & Model Sales   Rank Make & Model Sales
1 Toyota Camry 33,164 1 Ford F series 63,410
2 Honda Accord 27,128 2 Chevrolet Silverado 46,966
3 Toyota Corolla 24,959 3 Ram Pickup 39,834
4 Chevrolet Cruze 24,289 4 Honda CR-V 29,257
5 Honda Civic 24,154 5 Ford Escape 24,919
6 Nissan Altima 23,544 6 Toyota RAV4 21,524
7 Ford Fusion 22,846 7 GMC Sierra 18,564
8 Hyundai Sonata 15,563 8 Chevrolet Equinox 17,603
9 Volkswagen Jetta 14,607 9 Jeep Cherokee 15,715
10 Ford Focus 13,733 10 Jeep Grand Cherokee 14,993
11 BMW 3 series 13,621 11 Nissan Rogue 14,685
12 Toyota Prius 13,511 12 Ford Explorer 14,455
13 Nissan Sentra 13,129 13 Jeep Wrangler 13,665
14 Hyundai Elantra 12,758 14 Toyota Tacoma 13,010
15 Kia Optima 11,840 15 Subaru Forester 12,971
16 Chrysler 200 11,675 16 Subaru Outback 12,624
17 Chevrolet Malibu 11,131 17 Toyota Highlander 12,106
18 Nissan Versa 11,097 18 Chrysler Town & Country 10,936
19 Kia Soul 10,685 19 Dodge Grand Caravan 9,986
20 Chevrolet Impala 10,607 20 Toyota Tundra 9,525

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 just-auto.com, 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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