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Jeep’s No. 1; Ram’s No. 3; 200’s hot

by Bill Cawthon on

Jeep remained America’s favorite brand of SUVs in March while the Ram pickup finally beat the Toyota Camry in both monthly and year-to-date (YTD) sales to take the No. 3 spot on the best-seller list.

Jeep-Cherokee-AmFlag-Web

The Cherokee is the best-selling Jeep model in both monthly and YTD tallies and is one of the Top Ten light trucks in both categories. The Wrangler was right behind the Cherokee in March; the Grand Cherokee is the runner-up in the YTD standings.

Fiat Chrysler was just 672 sales behind General Motors in total crossover/SUV sales in March, a big change from the 9,255-unit gap last March. The YTD gap is just over 28,000 vehicles.

The Chrysler 200 made the overall Top 20, but just missed making the Top Ten Cars list, coming in at No. 11. It’s currently No. 5 in both monthly and YTD mid-size car sales volumes, outselling the Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Jetta. The 200 is also the second-most-popular FCA vehicle, runner-up to the Ram pickup in both March and YTD sales.

The Chrysler 300 outsold every car from Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln in March and beat them all in YTD sales, as well.

The Dodge Charger is still runner-up in the full-size car segment. It was just 114 sales behind the segment-leading Chevy Impala for the month and just 1,004 sales behind at the first quarter of the year. And Charger sales are growing, while Impala sales are falling.

The Dodge Dart enjoyed a 56% jump in sales and is now No. 8 among compact sedans. However, the average March sales volume of the seven competitive cars ahead of it is 21,347 units, 2.2 times the volume of the Dart. By the way, that is a big improvement: last March that same average was 3.5 times the Dart’s sales.

The Ram ProMaster finished March just 37 sales behind the Mercedes Sprinter and ahead of the GMC Savanna and Nissan NV. In YTD terms, the ProMaster is just ten sales behind the Sprinter after the first three months of 2015 and still ahead of the GMC and Nissan vans. The Ford Transit is far and away the segment leader with more than a third of the market. This really isn’t too surprising; Ford has ruled the commercial van market for decades.

Of course, the biggest benchmark in March is still 60 uninterrupted months of sales growth. It would be interesting to learn how long it’s been since any car company did that.

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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