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Jeep: When will it hit another million?

by Bill Cawthon on

Early in the morning of January 5, 2015, Allpar spread the word that  worldwide Jeep sales had reached one million in 2014.

Jeep-in-Japan-Web

This year, the question isn’t whether Jeep will pull off a repeat: it’s whether Jeep can hit a million sales in November, or how far past a million Jeep will get in 2015.

FCA’s hottest brand in the U.S. (and fastest-growing brand in other markets) continues to make a splash around the world. The new Renegade, now being produced in a new plant in Pernambuco, was just named “Car of the Year” in Brazil, where it’s already the best-selling SUV.

Pontus-Haggstrom-WebPaul W. Smith of Detroit radio station WJR interviewed Pontus Häggstrӧm, CEO of FCA Japan, on the opening day of the Tokyo Motor Show (listen to the interview here*). Jeep is the top-selling U.S. vehicle brand in Japan, and Häggstrӧm said the Wrangler is the top-selling Jeep model. The Cherokee was voted one of the top ten cars last year, becoming the first American vehicle to make the list. The Swedish executive said he hopes the Renegade,  just introduced to Japan, will be another top ten winner.

During the presentation of the most recent five-year plan, Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley noted that worldwide Jeep sales hit 85,000 in April 2014, an all-time record for monthly volume. Just over a year later, in May 2015, sales in North America hit 90,825. Add another 7,558 for Europe and the four markets saw 98,383 Jeep sales, 16% more than the entire world just a year earlier.

Through the end of October, Jeep has delivered 791,376 new vehicles in North America. It’s the top-selling SUV brand in the U.S., with a 13% share of the crossover/SUV market that includes 25 brands.

Last month, Jeep sold 12,775 more utilities in the U.S. than second-place Ford; for the first ten months of the year, Jeep is beating Ford by 81,248 sales.

Number one is a great position to be in; number one in the fastest-growing market segment is even better. In October, the segment grew more than four percentage points to 38% of total sales, second only to passenger cars with a 41% share.

Sales are also up 12% in Canada, though they are off by 10% in Mexico.

October Jeep sales in North America were up 30% compared to October 2014, and year-to-date deliveries have grown 22%.

In the past couple of years, Jeep has gotten about 17% of its total annual sales in the last two months of the year. Using that as a guide,  Jeep may come tantalizingly close to a million sales in North America alone — about 950,000 sales between the three countries.

Adding in the latest European Union numbers (September), Jeep hits the million mark with room to spare. Factor in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, and Jeep could get close to 1.2 million sales this year.

*Thanks to Marc Rozman for the tip about the Paul W. Smith show.

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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