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The million-Jeep year

by Bill Cawthon on

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Back in January, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said that Jeep worldwide sales would hit one million in 2014. Marchionne’s goal required a 36.9% increase over Jeep’s 2013 worldwide total of 731,565 sales.

As might be expected, there were some doubters.

Quoted in a Reuters article published shortly after Marchionne’s announcement, Jeff Schuster, one of the top analysts with LMC Automotive, said Jeep would hit a million in sales by 2020, but not this year.

“All the planets would have to perfectly align, even those we don’t yet know about, to hit the target in 2014, so we just don’t see that happening.”

It appears that the planets have lined up quite nicely because, as of the end of November, Jeep is within 79,706 sales of hitting the magic million.

All it takes is one more month as least as good as November to make it happen.

In November, worldwide Jeep sales totaled 89,811. That brought the total for the first 11 months of the year to 920,294 deliveries.

Repeat November and the year-end total hits 1,010,105. Even the average of Jeep sales over the first 11 months, 83,663, would do the job.

While U.S. sales still account for 64.8% of Jeep sales, the international market, outside of the NAFTA region, is pulling its weight with 22.1% of total units.

JEEP WORLDWIDE SALES
Market November Jan.-Nov.
United States 57,489 629,074
Canada 5,887 65,615
Mexico 2,501 22,377
NAFTA region 65,877 717,066
International 23,934 203,228
Worldwide Total 89,811 920,294

In the U.S., Jeep has been a huge factor in total market growth. New Jeeps accounted for 24.6% of the additional vehicles sold in the 11 months that ended on November 30.

In the hottest segment of the U.S. market, crossovers and SUVs, Jeeps made up 36.3% of the additional vehicles delivered. Jeep’s growth was more than three times the growth of the segment.

If the 191,895 additional Jeeps sold from January to the end of November (compared to the same period in 2013) were a separate brand, they would rank 20th among all brands sold in the U.S., beating the total year-to-date sales of Audi, Cadillac, Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln and Mitsubishi, among other brands, and coming in about 19,700 sales behind Buick.

That’s just the extra Jeeps.

With a month left in the year, the Jeep Compass, Patriot and Wrangler have already set new all-time, full-year U.S. sales records.

The Jeep Cherokee could very well beat the best sales year of its predecessor, the Liberty. The sun could also very well rise tomorrow; the Cherokee is just 10,419 sales away from beating the Liberty now.

There are good sales years and great sales years and then there are the years that become almost legendary.

2014 could be that year for Jeep.

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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