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Jeep #1 in SUVs and other June highlights

by Bill Cawthon on

Jeep was the best-selling brand of SUVs and crossovers. Again. Yes, it does get repetitive. But we never get tired of it.

Not only was Jeep #1, but sales of Jeep and Dodge SUVs came within 1,567 sales of equalling General Motors’ four brands last month.

Jeep-SUV-FCA

In its sales release, Ford trumpeted that its June Ford brand utility sales were the best for any June since 2002. Jeep beat that total by 6,644, or more than the number of utilities sold by Lincoln.

Jeep, all by itself, came in ahead of the total SUV sales of every automaker except GM. That’s true of not only June sales but of total sales for the first half of 2015.

The Jeep Wrangler made the combined car/truck top 20 in June. It’s currently outselling the GMC Sierra pickup. The Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are ranked seventh, eighth and ninth in the SUV segment.

That’s impressive.

SUV/CROSSOVER SALES JUNE 2015 AND YEAR TO DATE
Manufacturer June 15 June 14 Change YTD 2015 YTD 2014 Change
General Motors 87,940 95,801 -8.2% 537,506 487,128 10.3%
Fiat Chrysler 86,373 69,437 24.4% 484,098 412,828 17.3%
JEEP 71,529 57,006 25.5% 401,689 332,802 20.7%
Ford 70,143 62,785 11.7% 391,896 374,364 4.7%
Toyota 63,246 53,971 17.2% 366,649 315,818 16.1%
Honda 55,688 45,012 23.7% 305,846 264,819 15.5%
Subaru 44,335 41,367 7.2% 272,418 238,008 14.5%
Nissan 42,915 30,275 41.8% 249,344 202,062 23.4%
Hyundai-Kia 32,003 26,800 19.4% 178,356 151,795 17.5%

Jeep wasn’t the only highlight of the month, even aside from the big news that Fiat Chrysler’s retail sales beat those of fleet-addicted Ford (see “Retail: FCA-US beat Ford“).

With the triple-digit jump in deliveries, the Chrysler 200 not only moved back into the top ten cars, it joined with the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger to make FCA US the only major automaker to report growth in passenger car sales for the first six months of 2015 and one of only three to post improvement in June.

Even with the legacy effects of the Avenger, the Chrysler and Dodge brands combined to produce sales growth of 21% for June and 19% for the first half of the year.

PASSENGER CAR SALES BY GROWTH
Brand Jun-15 Jun-14 Change YTD 2015 YTD 2014 Change
Fiat Chrysler 46,258 39,665 16.6% 285,183 244,203 16.8%
Chrysler + Dodge 43,950 36,337 21.0% 269,473 226,024 19.2%
Volkswagen Group 40,363 38,898 3.8% 224,194 227,467 -1.4%
Nissan 71,557 69,278 3.3% 424,259 440,399 -3.7%
Hyundai-Kia 89,636 91,251 -1.8% 503,746 510,052 -1.2%
Ford + Lincoln 77,948 81,198 -4.0% 429,460 437,974 -1.9%
Toyota + Lexus 107,873 114,853 -6.1% 643,595 654,362 -1.6%
Honda + Acura 67,081 71,791 -6.6% 384,016 403,414 -4.8%
General Motors 83,262 100,202 -16.9% 489,847 578,927 -15.4%

According to Kelley Blue Book estimates, Fiat Chrysler’s average transaction price rose 3.9%, to $34,352, last month. That works out to an extra $1,296 per vehicle. Only Ford had a higher dollar volume increase.

Fiat Chrysler also paid less to move the metal. TrueCar estimates that the average incentive was $3,384, a 1.2% drop from June 2014. Fiat Chrysler also turned the big-spender award over to GM, which handed out $3,729 per sale, a jump of nearly ten percent.

The Ram pickup lost a little ground last month, falling to the number four spot in sales volume behind the Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, and Toyota Camry. It’s now about 3,000 sales behind the Toyota in year-to-date sales. Other than Ford’s F-series, which just barely beat the Silverado in June sales, the Ram had the weakest growth of any full-size pickup.

All in all, another good month for Fiat Chrysler even though it came up a little shy of the analysts’ predictions. Ford and GM didn’t hit their marks, either, and Fiat Chrysler came closest.

ANALYSTS FORECAST FOR JUNE
Manufacturer Forecast Actual Miss Forecast Actual Miss
Fiat Chrysler 189,250 185,035 -2.2% 10.6% 8.2% -2.4%
Ford Motor Company 230,300 224,681 -2.4% 4.0% 1.5% -2.5%
General Motors 284,000 259,353 -8.7% 6.2% -3.0% -9.2%

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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