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Is FCA US #1 in light trucks?

by Bill Cawthon on

On the “Final Assembly” page of this week’s print edition of Automotive News is a short piece that notes that FCA sold more light trucks last month than either Ford or General Motors.

Silhouettes of Ram ProMaster and Ram Pickup

By the published reports, this is true for the month. General Motors still maintains the lead for the year, but FCA is outselling Ford by both metrics.

LIGHT TRUCK SALES
Manufacturer March Growth Year to Date Growth
FCA US  178,407 23% 452,475 23%
Ford 177,514 12% 449,392 12%
General Motors 177,458 6% 471,443 2%

 

In the uncredited piece, Automotive News attributes the results to creative accounting and the EPA’s loose definition of what constitutes a “light truck.”  Their example is the Mini Countryman, which is considered a light truck, while the Mini Cooper is a car.

That would have been more of an issue in the days of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Ford Taurus X, but there really aren’t any such cars in the Detroit automakers’ current lineups.

The true uncertainty is at the other end of the range. Ford’s monthly sales report includes heavy trucks – the F-650 and F-750 – which are discarded in most sales analyses, including the table above.

However, there is still room for a bit of fudging in the F-Series category. While it’s likely that the F-450 pickup is counted in “F-Series” total, as Ford claims it’s a Class 3 truck, does that tally also include the F-450 chassis-cab, which is a Class 4 truck, and the F-550?

FCA sales reports list only the Ram Pickup, but Allpar has been told that the Ram tally does include chassis-cabs, leaving the door open for the 4400 and 5500.

For now, the numbers reported are good enough. FCA is not only Number 1 in utilities; it’s Number 1 in light trucks as a whole, too.

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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