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FCA top SUV source, Jeep top brand

by Bill Cawthon on

For the second consecutive month, FCA delivered more crossovers and SUVs than any other automaker. Allpar’s analysis of February U.S. light vehicle sales shows FCA beating No. 2 General Motors by 2,343 vehicles for the month and building its year-to-date lead to 3,951 units.

Jeep-February16-Web

Jeep remains the top brand of utilities, finishing the month 3,212 sales ahead of second-place Ford, with a 12,032-sale lead for 2016 so far. By itself, Jeep delivered more utilities in February than Toyota Motor Sales (including Lexus); American Honda (including Acura) and Nissan North America (including Infiniti), just 2,100 fewer than the combined sales of Ford and Lincoln.

According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep sales in Europe rose nearly 48% in February. The Renegade was only behind the Fiat 500X in the small SUV segment.

The Dodge Grand Caravan was the best-selling minivan last month, and just 1,746 sales behind the Toyota Sienna in year to date totals. The Town & Country was No. 3. Minivan sales were up 27% in February and took an additional half-point of market share compared to February 2015.

There was good news in the commercial van segment, too. Ford claimed 53% of total commercial van sales, but the Ram ProMaster outsold every full-size van that didn’t have a blue oval or bow tie on the grille and the ProMaster City was second only to the Ford Transit Connect among small vans. Total Ram van deliveries soared 76% last month, easily outpacing Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.

The Ram pickup’s big jump in February left it just 4,581 sales behind the Chevrolet Silverado. The Ram pickup ranked third in both February and year to date total market rankings.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the focus would be on light trucks and that was certainly the case last month. Utilities, pickups and vans accounted for 82% of total FCA sales, up from 72% in February 2015. Jeep and Dodge crossovers and SUVs claimed 46% of total deliveries.

FCA remained the top automaker in Canada, but by a razor-thin margin. Just 424 sales separated FCA Canada from Ford of Canada last month as Ford’s total jumped more than 24% compared to a 0.5% increase at FCA. FCA still has a 1,943-sale lead in 2016 results.

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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