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FCA #1 in SUVs

by David Zatz on

FCA was #1 in SUV sales in U.S. September sales, according to industry analyst and writer Bill Cawthon. It beat #2 General Motors by 1,782 sales, thanks in large part to Jeep, which is riding a “high.” Historically, Willys Jeep and then Kaiser Jeep as a whole rarely achieved the kind of sales now routinely established by the brand’s lowest-selling current models.

In America’s favorite segment (based on top selling models), full size pickups, Ford has solidified its lead with nearly 70,000 sales in September alone — but doesn’t match Chevrolet+GM sales of 73,479. Meanwhile, Ram trails with around 36,600 pickups, 14 less than in September 2014.

Toyota took a much bigger hit. When it launched the Tundra, engineered largely by Americans (veterans from the Big Three), Toyota assumed it would rival GM and Ford and kill off Dodge, so they set up two huge assembly plants. Years later, the makers of the least capable, least efficient pickup sold 10,057 Tundras, down 15%. The Nissan Titan sold around a tenth of the Tundra’s number.


Ram has no midsize pickups, in a market dominated by Toyota (16,230 Tacoma sales) and General Motors (7,334 Colorados and 2,332 Canyons). Nissan sold 4,617 Frontiers sold for the month.  Year to date, GM has already sold over 85,000 midsize pickups while Toyota has moved over 122,000.

In full-size commercial vans, the established brands are generally doing well, with Ford dominating as usual — carrying over 10,000 sales of its almost new Transit. Chevrolet’s Express followed with around 6,700 sales, and Ford’s traditional E-series was next with around 4,000. Ram ProMaster, arguably the best van in the segment, came in at 2,483 — up 76% from last September, when it beat the Transit. The good news for Ram is they beat the well-established but pricey Sprinter (by around 165 vans), and the Nissan NV (by around 1,000).


In the compact van market, the picture was similar. Transit Connect dominated with 3,852 sales, more than the similar Nissan NV200 and Chevrolet City Express (1,400 and 1,024) combined. ProMaster City, an import, followed with 861 sales.

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