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FCA to see best October sales since 2001?

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler fans are in for a treat, barring any tricks: analysts at Edmunds and Kelley’s Blue Book predicted that FCA US will report its best U.S. October sales since 2001, along with a 67th consecutive month of year-over-year growth.

Since the month ends on a Saturday, October sales figures won’t reported until a week from today. However, October is shaping up to be another good month for the auto industry.


J.D. Power/IHS Automotive foresees total sales of 1,384,000 cars and light trucks, up 8% from last October. Retail sales will make up 83% of total sales, slightly down from September, but ahead of October 2014.  J.D. Power has upped their full-year forecast to 17 million light vehicles.

Jessica Caldwell at Edmunds and Alec Gutierrez at Kelley Blue Book are both more bullish on the industry, looking at better than 1.4 million sales for the month, a 12% improvement.

On average, analysts wrote that FCA will report 192,657 U.S. sales for the month, a 13% improvement over last October and just 363 sales behind September 2015, which was an exceptional month. Market share should rise slightly to 13.5% as FCA outpaces industry sales growth of 11.7%.

An 84.5¢ drop in average fuel prices, compared to October 2014, continues to play to Fiat Chrysler’s strength. Compact-to-midsize crossovers and SUVs are still the hottest segment, projected to jump 29.1% compared to last October and to take 26.8% of total sales.

The area in which Fiat Chrysler is weakest, compact cars, is projected to have the lowest growth, about 3.5%, of any of the major market segments. Mid-size cars, like the Chrysler 200, are in better shape, but are still slightly behind the overall market.


Jeep looks to be on its way to another million-sale year. Counting just the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Western Europe, the leading brand of SUVs had racked up about 774,000 sales at the end of September. Given a good October and a strong finish to the year, Jeep could hit a million sales in just those four markets.

[Note: “DSR” in the chart above is “daily sales rate,” which averages each month’s sales per business day. October 2015 has 28 selling days while October 2014 had 27. This is why the DSR percentage is lower than the percentage change in sales volume.]

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, 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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