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May FCA surprises

by Bill Cawthon on

As Allpar reported yesterday, Ram pickups outsold the Chevrolet Silverado for the third consecutive month. If Ram can keep up this pace, it could be the second best selling vehicle in the U.S. for the 2017 calendar year — for the first time in the nearly 100-year history of Graham, Dodge, and Ram pickups.

2017 Ram Laramie Longhorn

Ford was the top automaker for May, thanks to a surge in fleet deliveries, while FCA was fourth, behind GM and Toyota.

Ford’s fleet jump, combined with FCA’s ongoing reductions in fleet sales, produced an interesting result: FCA came within 6,055 units of matching Ford’s total retail sales for the month. With just over 80% of Ford’s total volume, FCA had more than 96% of its retail volume.

FCA beat Ford, and everyone else, in total May crossover/SUV sales, and Jeep was again the top utility brand. The new Compass may put the brand back on the growth track.

The Grand Caravan and Pacifica topped the minivan charts in May and have the lead for the year.

As for Alfa Romeo, the Giulia wasn’t in full supply in May, so it’s hard to judge its 883 sales against competitors. The chief rival is BMW, whose 3-series had 4,453 sales; the 5-series had 3,677 sales. Those are numbers to remember next month.

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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