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Jeep, Ram pickup share growth beats U.S. rivals (update)

by Bill Cawthon on

Ram-Share-Web

IHS Automotive recently released the results of a study showing that the race for market share is becoming tighter over time. IHS says this is good for consumers because automakers have to fight harder for every sale.

The IHS study covered the 21st Century starting with the year 2000 and compared the shares of the major players in that year to their positions as of October 2014. IHS based their numbers on registrations instead of manufacturer reported sales.

U.S. Market Share for Leading New Vehicle Manufacturers
Manufacturer 2000 Manufacturer 2014*
General Motors 28.20% General Motors 17.60%
Ford Motor Company 24.10% Ford Motor Company 14.70%
DaimlerChrysler 15.70% Toyota Motor Sales 14.50%
Toyota Motor Sales 9.30% FCA US LLC 12.70%
American Honda 6.70% American Honda 9.40%
Nissan Motors America 4.30% Nissan Motors America 8.60%
Volkswagen of America 2.50% Hyundai Motor America 8.10%
Hyundai Motor America 2.30% Volkswagen of America 3.30%
Data Source: IHS Automotive *As of October 2014

One of the problems with such a comparison is that it’s not so much apples to apples as it is apples to aardvarks.

DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors have significantly different product lines today. Long gone are Plymouth, Mercury, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn. Ford divested itself of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo while GM dumped Saab. The Daimler is gone from Chrysler and Fiat has been added. The Daewoo name is gone: they’re now called Buicks and Chevrolets.

Rather than attempting to equalize the companies as they existed in 2000 with what they have become, Allpar opted to compare individual brands and to extend the comparison to November 2014. The only adjustment made was recombining the Dodge and Ram brands.

In all, excluding niche brands like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, there were 28 marques that were on the market continuously in the period 2000-2014.

As might be expected, Toyota gained the most share, up 4.08%, followed by Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Honda and Subaru.

Jeep was No. 7, with a share increase of 1.34% to 4.19% of the total U.S. light vehicle market. The next-largest gain for an American brand was GMC, which came in at No. 18. GMC added just 0.08% to its slice of the pie. Every other American brand lost share with Ford down the most.

Market-Share-Change-Web

Dodge/Ram was third from the bottom but that was primarily due to shrinkage at the Dodge brand: the Ram pickup is a different story altogether.

Ram’s market share has increased more than any other full-size pickup. In fact, Ram’s market share as of the end of November is 2.88%, its biggest piece of the pie since 1999.

In 2000, Ram was 1.27% behind the Chevrolet Silverado. Today, that difference has been trimmed to just 0.56%.

Pickup-Market-Share-Web

If the Ram pickup’s December sales equal its November numbers, 2014 would be the truck’s best year since 2003 and quite possibly the second-best sales year in Dodge/Ram pickup history (certainly the second-best year since 1996).

With Jeep on track to hit a million or more worldwide sales, an all-time record, and Ram poised to post some of the best numbers it’s had since Dodge started making pickups, it’s well worth digging past the headlines to get to the real story.

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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