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US: Retail stable, fleets plummet

by Bill Cawthon on

The old Chrysler Group’s US sales fell sharply in November 2016, compared to a very good November 2015, but that’s not the end of the story.  Retail sales for November were down just 2%; fleet sales fell by 42%.  The fleets took up 21% of the total for the month, a lower percentage than normal this year, possibly because some fleet sales were pulled forward.

us-sales

There were some bright spots, notably Ram, which saw a 12% gain compared with last November. Ram pickups saw an 8% hike, and the rest came from new-ish vans. The Pacifica gained 13% from October, and the Renegade shot up by 30% from last November. The 300 fell by around 2,000 cars, but the Charger more than made up for it, cementing its place as the best selling big car.

While the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 barely registered in the sales charts, representing quite a bit of the fall, the new Jeep Compass should easily outperform the existing crossover starting in February, when supplies are well spread out.

retail

Jeep dropped by 12% overall; sales dropped most of all for the now-second-place Cherokee, down 37% despite high incentives. The old Compass dropped by 24% but was still good for nearly 7,000 sales, while the outgoing Patriot managed 8,568 (down 14%). The Renegade beat both for the first time, with just over 10,000 sales. The standby Wrangler fell by 7% and Grand Cherokee was roughly stable, with a 2% drop (432 sales).

Chrysler continues to languish, with sales down 12% overall. The 200 dropped by 72%, as the lavish incentives from 2015 are no longer around, and no more will be made after next month. The 300 fell by nearly half, with just 2,566 sales — still up by 2% for the year, though. And Town & Country supplies are nearly exhausted; just 350 were sold, down from 12,537 last year. The new Pacifica, with a higher after-rebate cost, isn’t moving as quickly — 8,753 were sold. That might be because minivans as a whole were down; the Caravan saw a 39% drop, too, with 6,696 selling.

Other news at Dodge was a 9% drop in Challengers, an 11% drop in Journeys, and a 13% drop in Durangos. The Viper saw a 38% gain, likely due to a single dealer stocking up.

Finally, Alfa Romeo sold just 23 of the 4C and Giulia is not on sale yet; and Fiat saw a rebound of the lower-priced 500, with 1,147 sold (up by 18%), but 500L and 500X continue to be crushed, with 96 of one and 822 of the other selling. The new shared-with-Miata Fiat 124 Spyder had 350 sales, and was not meant to be a huge seller.

The analysts were off by just 1%.

For the month, cars and MPVs fell — by a stunning 34%; crossovers and SUVs fell by 13%; and trucks and commercial vans rose by 12%. Still to be seen in future months is the popularity of the new Compass, the success of the Giulia and Stelvio, the impact of the Pacifica Hybrid on minivan sales, and whether new Challenger specials can change Dodge’s fortunes.

Model Nov ’16 Nov ’15 Change YTD ’16 YTD ’15 Change
200 2,849 10,103 -72% 54,651 157,705 -65%
300 2,566 4,635 -45% 49,657 48,756 2%
Town & Country 350 12,537 -97% 58,805 86,908 -32%
Pacifica 8,753 0 New 52,083 0 New
CHRYSLER 14,518 27,275 -47% 215,196 293,369 -27%
Dart 2,203 7,201 -69% 41,877 82,041 -49%
Avenger 1 15 -93% 45 1,294 -97%
Charger 9,138 6,804 34% 88,200 88,323 0%
Challenger 3,908 4,297 -9% 59,176 61,813 -4%
Viper 62 45 38% 571 627 -9%
Journey 7,133 8,023 -11% 96,991 100,256 -3%
Caravan 6,696 10,926 -39% 120,991 89,833 35%
Durango 4,934 5,644 -13% 62,678 56,897 10%
DODGE 34,075 42,955 -21% 470,529 481,084 -2%
Compass 6,984 9,209 -24% 86,107 64,188 34%
Patriot 8,568 9,933 -14% 114,117 108,968 5%
Wrangler 12,957 13,948 -7% 176,053 186,835 -6%
Cherokee 11,479 18,218 -37% 183,356 196,092 -6%
Grand Cherokee 17,230 17,662 -2% 189,023 175,746 8%
Renegade 10,067 7,719 30% 94,561 52,211 81%
JEEP 67,285 76,689 -12% 843,217 784,040 8%
Ram P/U 36,885 34,145 8% 441,862 408,724 8%
Cargo Van 0 2 -100% 21 2,157 -99%
ProMaster Van 4,702 2,084 126% 35,746 23,658 51%
ProMaster City 924 1,721 -46% 14,625 8,015 82%
RAM 42,511 37,952 12% 492,254 442,554 11%
Giulia 0 0 New 7 0 New
Alfa 4C 23 34 -32% 457 603 -24%
ALFA ROMEO 23 34 -32% 464 603 -23%
500 1,147 974 18% 14,026 22,243 -37%
500L 96 231 -58% 3,016 7,275 -59%
500X 822 1,621 -49% 10,869 7,785 40%
Spider 350 0 New 2,225 0 New
FIAT 2,415 2,826 -15% 30,136 37,303 -19%

Total Car & MPV 38,142 57,802 -34% 545,787 647,421 -16%
Total UV’s 80,174 91,977 -13% 1,013,755 948,978 7%
Total Truck & LCV 42,511 37,952 12% 492,254 442,554 11%
TOTAL FCA US LLC 160,827 187,731 -14% 2,051,796 2,038,953 1%

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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