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November from a Chrysler perspective

by Bill Cawthon on

November brought another helping of good news for Chrysler fans.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ 20.2% November sales growth exceeded the average of analyst expectations: only, which predicted a 20.4% increase, was even close.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ November U.S. market share rose to 13.2%, up from 11.5% last year. Chrysler  brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram) market share hit 12.9%, also 1.7% more than November 2013.

Chrysler Group was the No. 1 automaker in Canada again; just the Chrysler brands were enough to secure the top spot.

All of the Chrysler Group brands reported increased sales last month. Chrysler had three of the five top growth brands for the month with Maserati, Ram and Chrysler taking the top three spots and Jeep coming in at No. 5. Buick, the only non-FCA brand on the list, was No. 4.

There were 57,466 more light vehicles sold in November 2014 than there were in November 2013. Of that number, 28,884, or 50.3%, came from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands.

For the first 11 months of 2014, there have been 780,074 more cars, trucks, SUVs and vans sold in the U.S. than in the same period last year. The additional Jeep and Ram brand vehicles sold through November accounted for 36% of the total.

Just Jeep and Ram.

11 of 21 models in the FCA lineup set new monthly sales records.

The Chrysler 200 posted great numbers in November. It was No. 12 among all passenger cars and missed the top ten by just 545 sales.

Jeep was the most popular brand of crossover/SUV for the month. For the first 11 months of 2013, Jeep had a 9.8% share of the crossover/SUV segment. This year, that share has jumped to 12.6%, the same share Jeep took for the month of November.

Ford bragged that the Explorer had its best November sales since 2004. Both the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee outsold the Explorer last month. (Note: Ford counts sales of the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility separately.)

Chrysler Group’s year-to-date (YTD) share of the utility market has gone from 12.8% to 15.7% this year.  It dipped slightly, to 15.4%, for the month of November.

While some might wonder why there is an emphasis on utilities, the fact is they are one of the largest segments of the light vehicle market. In November, crossovers and SUVs accounted for 35 of every 100 vehicles sold. So far this  year, sales of utilities have climbed 11.8%, more than twice the growth of the industry as a whole.

Being one of the hottest players in a growth market is a good thing.

The Ram pickup was No. 3 among all light vehicles in November sales volume and it’s just 1,421 sales behind the Camry for the No. 3 spot for the year. The Ram brand’s sales increase was the most of any Chrysler Group brand (Maserati’s was the highest of the FCA brands) and Ram’s YTD share of the pickup market  rose to 19.0% from 16.3% for the first 11 months of 2013.

The Ram ProMaster outsold the Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter last month. Sales were up 297.3%.

The Toyota Sienna was November’s top-selling minivan, edging the Dodge Grand Caravan by 104 sales. The Chrysler Town & Country came in fourth in the segment, trailing the Honda Odyssey by 584 sales. It was a close month; the gap between the Sienna and Town & Country was just 891 sales.

There’s no real worry about which minivan will finish the year at the top: the Town & Country has a 4,432-unit lead over the second-place Grand Caravan and the Caravan is 10,085 sales ahead of the Sienna. The Odyssey is in fourth place, 14,961 units behind the Town & Country. After 11 months of 2014, the Chrysler minivans account for 49.2% of the total minivan segment.

Chrysler will finish the year in the No. 4 spot. As of the end of November, it was 247,880 sales behind Toyota but it was 506,883 sales ahead of Honda.

Rank Brand & Model Sales Rank Brand & Model Sales
1 Toyota Camry 28,846 1 Ford F series 59,049
2 Toyota Corolla 25,609 2 Chevrolet Silverado 42,799
3 Honda Accord 25,275 3 Ram pickup 35,865
4 Honda Civic 23,060 4 Honda CR-V 32,378
5 Chevrolet Cruze 22,857 5 Ford Escape 25,528
6 Nissan Altima 22,834 6 GMC Sierra 22,544
7 Ford Fusion 20,263 7 Toyota RAV4 21,108
8 Hyundai Sonata 18,515 8 Chevrolet Equinox 18,536
9 Volkswagen Jetta 15,633 9 Jeep Cherokee 16,945
10 Ford Focus 14,862 10 Jeep Grand Cherokee 15,307
11 BMW 3 series 14,702 11 Nissan Rogue 15,067
12 Chrysler 200 14,317 12 Ford Explorer 14,949
13 Subaru Outback 14,128 13 Subaru Forester 13,879
14 Hyundai Elantra 14,002 14 Jeep Wrangler 13,592
15 Toyota Prius 13,957 15 Toyota Highlander 13,476
16 Nissan Sentra 13,530 16 Toyota Tacoma 13,018
17 Kia Optima 12,707 17 Hyundai Santa Fe 9,787
18 Chevrolet Malibu 11,997 18 Lexus RX 9,592
19 Chevrolet Impala 9,423 19 Toyota Tundra 9,580
20 Nissan Versa 9,283 20 Honda Pilot 9,228

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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