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Slipping sales again

by David Zatz on

FCA US’ August 2017 sales slipped by 11% from August 2016, with a total of 176,033 cars and trucks hitting customers’ hands. Retail sales (140,379) were down by 7%, and fleet sales were down by 23% to 35,654 as part of a planned reduction.

Jeep slashed fleet sales by 66%, year over year; most of those had likely been the old Patriot and Compass. In any case, retail sales hit 80% of the total, up from 76% in August 2016.

Despite the drop, there were six “best August” placements, for the  the Dodge Challenger, Chrysler Pacifica, Jeep Compass and Renegade, and Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City. The Grand Caravan’s 62% sales hike was good for the best August sales since 2004, and two Jeeps (Grand Cherokee and Wrangler) had double-digit percentage gains.

Both Jeep and Chrysler had double-digit percentage declines; and all brands but Alfa Romeo dropped overall. FCA was in good company, though. While GM posted a surprise 7.5% sales gain, driven largely by fleet, Ford posted a 2% drop, and Nissan fell by 13%.  Truck-dependent sellers were hit hard by Tropical Storm Harvey, according to Automotive News, as Texas is the top sales market for Ram, Ford, and GMC. September sales will likely suffer for the same reason, but as buyers (and dealers) replace flood-damaged vehicles, sales should gain.

Alfa Romeo marked sharply higher sales, with 1,140 sold, as the Stelvio started to arrive.

 

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