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Jeep remains the strongest SUV brand in the US

by Bill Cawthon on

Jeep remains the best-selling SUV brand in the in the fastest-growing market segment – and the lead is growing.

In August, Jeep had its best sales month ever. Americans bought or leased 80,804 Jeeps, giving the brand a 13.4% share of the crossover/SUV market. Sales rose 17.5% compared to August 2014, and share increased by 0.8%. The Cherokee, Compass, Patriot and Wrangler all set new records.

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Based on August and year-to-date deliveries, Jeep has three models in the top ten in the crossover-and-SUV segment, more than any other brand. The Wrangler is still the best-selling traditional SUV, and the Grand Cherokee is the best-selling SUV in its class.

Last year at this time, Jeep was 7,090 sales ahead of second-place Ford for the month, and was 14,420 sales behind Ford for the first eight months of 2014. This year, Jeep was 11,727 sales ahead of Ford for the month, a 65% increase, and 55,477 deliveries ahead of the “blue oval” for January-August.

FCA still trails General Motors in total crossover/SUV sales, but last month it chopped GM’s lead by 42% compared with August last year. For the first eight months of the year, GM’s lead has been slashed by 35%.

The crossover/SUV segment continues to outpace all others. In August, sales were up 10.5% compared with 8% for pickups and declines of 6% for vans and 11% for passenger cars. Since January, cars have lost 320 basis points of their market share; and 280 of those went to crossovers and SUVs.

With fuel prices likely to remain moderate, America’s appetite for utility vehicles will probably remain strong, and it looks like Jeep will remain America’s favorite utility brand. Some of that will depend on how much the public likes the new Jeep Compass, and changes to the Cherokee and Wrangler.

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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