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FCA gained US sales; the top Jeep is…

by David Zatz on

FCA US LLC reported U.S. sales of 193,019 units last month, 14% above September 2014 (169,890 units), — the 66th consecutive month of increases and the best September sales since 2000.

Every brand other than Chrysler itself posted gains, with Jeep bursting forward by 40%. FCA’s gains, which came at some cost in incentives, were matched by some of its rivals: Ford rose by 23% with revived F-series sales (and incentives), GM came in 12.5% ahead, and Nissan rose by 18%.  (At press time, we were awaiting Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Toyota.)

sales

Analysts predict that every company other than Volkswagen-Audi will have higher sales.

The Dodge Journey and Jeep Cherokee each logged an all-time sales record last month, with gains of 45% and 38% respectively. The Chrysler 200, Dodge Challenger, Jeep Compass, Jeep Wrangler, and Ram ProMaster each recorded their best September sales ever.

Within Jeep, only Patriot fell for the month, dropping 6% but still logging a 27% gain for the year; the Compass, ironically, rose 54% for the month, falling 2% for the year. Every other Jeep rose for the year, with Cherokee gaining by 26% to become the most popular Jeep by a large margin, for the month and for the year alike. Renegade outsold Compass for the month.

At Chrysler, the 200 was by far the sales leader, though sales were only up 3%. The big 300 had a 41% gain over last year; the car only logged 6,723 sales for the month, and was even with 2014 year-to-date. However, it has a higher profit margin than it used to, with no “stripper” version. Town & Country sales were 30% lower than in September 2014 despite inventory on lots.

At Dodge, the big gainer was Journey, which came close to matching Caravan for the title of sales leader — but this is likely temporary, as Journey was up 45% and Caravan was down 6%. A distant second was the Charger, despite having dropped 14% for the month. Challenger had a big gain (26%) but is still a minor player with 4,552 sales (it’s up 35% for the year, presumably riding on the Hellcat’s fame). Dart gained by 5%, Durango by 7%.

With Ford’s F-series now available at dealers, and getting hefty incentives (but also selling at higher overall prices), Ram’s primary lineup of big pickups and chassis-cabs registered ever-so-slighly lower sales for the month and a 3% gain for the year; Ram may be factory constrained at this point. ProMaster Van gained by 76% to 2,483 sales, while Cargo Van appears to be out of production (possibly temporarily, due to factory downtime) with just four sold.  ProMaster City, an new import, saw 861 sales.

Fiat would have had a major loss if not for the arrival of the new 500X, which, despite being new, managed to more than triple the 500L’s sales. No Fiat managed to have sales approaching even a slow-selling mainstream Dodge, Chrysler, or Jeep.

At the end of the month, dealers held 76 days of inventory (590,503 cars, trucks, and vans).

Bill Cawthon noted that the share of sales held by traditional cars is now just 20%, down from 23% in September 2014; the crossover/SUV portion is 48%, up from 39% (not including minivans and vans, which fell from 16% to 12%). Pickups are nearly equal to cars at 19%. “Trucks/MPVs” in the chart below is, in essence, everything that is not a passenger car — such as Jeep Compass.

Model Sept ’15 Sept ’14 Change YTD ’15 YTD ’14 Change
Compass 7,179 4,666 54% 46,886 47,918 -2%
Patriot 8,533 9,117 -6% 88,719 69,958 27%
Wrangler 17,583 13,955 26% 157,513 134,068 17%
Cherokee 20,224 14,639 38% 161,112 128,133 26%
Grand Cherokee 15,758 12,854 23% 141,849 136,310 4%
Renegade 7,924 0 New 36,831 0 New
Jeep 77,201 55,231 40% 632,910 516,387 23%
200 11,364 10,995 3% 147,073 75,142 96%
300 6,723 4,757 41% 39,757 39,584 0%
Town & Country 9,163 13,029 -30% 61,970 108,340 -43%
Chrysler 27,250 28,781 -5% 248,800 223,066 12%
Dart 7,244 6,923 5% 68,319 60,763 12%
Avenger 32 1,677 -98% 1,156 49,363 -98%
Charger 7,384 8,624 -14% 70,700 72,141 -2%
Challenger 4,552 3,619 26% 51,949 38,376 35%
Viper 49 108 -55% 503 546 -8%
Journey 10,457 7,230 45% 79,395 70,686 12%
Caravan 10,568 11,275 -6% 64,219 104,071 -38%
Durango 4,884 4,564 7% 46,106 48,011 -4%
Dodge 45,170 44,020 3% 382,347 443,957 -14%
1500-5500 36,598 36,612 0% 330,643 319,868 3%
Cargo Van 4 478 -99% 3,170 7,290 -57%
ProMaster Van 2,483 1,408 76% 19,257 9,990 93%
ProMaster City 861 0 New 5,418 0 New
Ram 39,946 38,498 4% 358,488 337,148 6%
Alfa 4C / Brand 54 0 New 497 0 New
Fiat 500 1,926 2,737 -30% 21,329 26,616 -20%
Fiat 500L 339 623 -46% 7,034 8,885 -21%
Fiat 500X 1,133 0 New 3,132 0 New
Fiat 3,398 3,360 1% 31,819 35,501 -10%
Total Cars 39,328 39,440 0% 401,615 362,531 11%
Trucks/MPVs 153,691 130,450 18% 1,253,254 1,193,528 5%
FCA US LLC 193,019 169,890 14% 1,654,861 1,556,059 6%

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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