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Big dip for FCA US?

by Bill Cawthon on

Analysts have predicted an all-time record for US auto sales in November — but not for FCA.  With auto sales believed to be rising by 4% overall this month, FCA is predicted to be falling by 13%, despite higher incentive spending.

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To put FCA’s shortfall in context, though, the company has trimmed its product line since last November, cutting the Dodge Avenger, Dodge Dart, and Ram Cargo van, and removing price supports from the Chrysler 200. That group of cars, which added up to 16,540 sales in November 2015, fell to 5,250 this October — and, since there are no replacements, that’s a loss of over 11,000 deliveries, based on last month’s numbers.

An even larger hurdle was added when the numbers for November 2015 were restated earlier this year, so that the 175,974 sales originally reported jumped to 187,731. Using the old numbers would bring this month’s sales to a small loss of just one-half of one percent, instead of 13%.

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The key number to beat is 129,292 — the number of retail sales from November 2015. Through October, total FCA volume is 2.2% ahead of the same period last year. However, retail volume is down 2.4%, and retail sales have missed their year-over-year marks in six of the ten months reported so far in 2016.

What’s more, FCA seems to be losing share even with a massive 18% rise in incentives, according to TrueCar.com, to an average of $4,154 per vehicle. That said, GM and Nissan are spending more per vehicle, and Ford saw an even bigger rise, by 23%, the most of the major automakers.

Average fleet volume through October was nearly 25%, the highest share of total sales since 2012.

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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