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Gaining US share; Pacifica’s first month

by David Zatz on

May was the Chrysler Pacifica’s first sales month, and despite limited supplies, the new minivan managed 2,495 deliveries in the US. Meanwhile, dealers tried to make room by clearing out the Town & Country, whose sales shot up by 49% to 8,583.

The big winner for Chrysler brands was the Caravan, beating the Town & Country’s sales hike by moving 11,135 minivans into customer hands, 76% above last May. The Dodge Caravan is cheapest of the major minivans, and customers may be coming in for Pacificas and leaving with the bargain brand. Buyers still have at least a year to get the Caravan.

Higher van sales made up for lower pickup/chassis-cab sales.

On the strength of the minivan push, small Jeeps, and large cars, FCA US managed to eke out a 1% sales gain over last year.  That meant a gain in market share against its domestic competitors, GM and Ford, which saw sales fall by 18% and 6%, respectively. Each of GM’s brands lost volume, even GMC; Ford dropped and Lincoln rose (but still didn’t hit 10,000 sales, and remains below Cadillac).

Amazingly, FCA US was not far from GM or Ford in total US sales. GM sold 240,449 vehicles in May 2016, and Ford sold 234,748 (nearly all under the Ford brand). FCA’s sales may be spread across six brands — four of which were big enough to be “on the map” — but it still reached 204,452.

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Toyota’s sales fell by 10% for the month, down to 219,339 — still  above FCA, but not by nearly as much as in May 2015.

Year to date, the biggest sellers in the US were:

  1. General Motors, 1.18 million (down 5%)
  2. Ford, 1.10 million (up 4%)
  3. Toyota, 1.02 million (down 2%)
  4. FCA US, 0.96 million (up 6.5%)

Nissan and Honda are roughly even, at 657,561 and 653,640.

Sergio Marchionne has already told investors to assume that sales will start to fall, though they will still be at or ahead of the original plan.

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