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FCA closing retail gap with Ford

by Bill Cawthon on

Despite an 11% overall drop in total sales, FCA’s retail sales in the United States were just 839 behind Ford Motor Company in January — 109,350 sales vs Ford’s 110,189.

FCA’s total sales outperformed the predictions of every major automotive analyst, who had predicted declines of roughly 14% to  17%.  Thanks to an even larger deficit reported by Toyota, FCA was the #3 automaker in January.

The Dodge Charger was the best-selling full-size car last month, beating the Chevy Impala by 1,181. This is almost an exact reverse of last January’s results, when the Impala outsold the Charger by 1,160 units.

Though Jeep turnover fell by nearly 7%, it easily remained the best-selling brand of SUVs. The Grand Cherokee was sixth among crossovers and SUVs, outselling every mid-size SUV and every GM or Ford utility except the Chevy Equinox and Ford Escape, which are less expensive. The Jeep Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler, and the Dodge Journey were all in the top 15% of the segment.

The Dodge Grand Caravan was the top minivan in January, while the Chrysler Pacifica came in third, beating the Honda Odyssey. Last January, the Town & Country had been at the top of the list. Minivan sales fell nearly 20% in January, the largest decline of any major  segment.

Ram reported another good month for the full-size ProMaster commercial van. Sales were up 43%, making it third in the segment, behind the Ford Transit and the Chevrolet Express; the ProMaster out-sold the Ford E-Series and every other full-size or compact van other than the Transit and Express.

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, 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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