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FCA US sales and explanation

by David Zatz on

FCA issued both US sales and an explanation today.  First, we have the sales: 132,803, down 13% from last January. However, retail sales rose by 2%, for the second highest retail month since 2001 — a very good sign, suggesting that FCA’s vehicles are more desirable than they have been since Daimler made their dominance clear.

The company dropped fleet sales in half from January 2017; they were 16% of the month’s total sales. Helping in this was the absence of the Jeep Patriot, old Compass, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Dart.

Dodge took the biggest sales hit, with the Journey plummeting by 73% — 9,000 sales. The Charger also fell by 27%. Caravan sales remained fairly stable, and Durango rose (though not enough to compensate for Grand Cherokee’s fall). Ram fell by 16%, possibly as customers await the 2019s. Jeep actually posted a gain, with Compass’ gains outweighing the loss of the Patriot and a 29% drop in Renegades; the Cherokee gained even though the 2019 was just shown.

Chrysler 300 sales were just half of January 2017, suggesting that they might have a high fleet component, while Pacifica gained by 20% — still 2,000 sales below the outgoing and bargain-priced Dodge Caravan.

Fiat’s bloodbath continued; at Alfa Romeo, the Giulia failed to hit a thousand, and the Stelvio has oddly not lived up to Giulia sales, though most believed the new crossover would easily outsell the sedan.

Industry analyst Bill Cawthon noted:

The cut in fleet sales volume accounts for more than the decline in total volume. FCA’s retail sales were actually up 2%.

While FCA doesn’t provide a breakout of its fleet sales, assuming that most of the fleet sales went to Chrysler brands means the combined Chrysler brands volume was up slightly.

Total FCA volume was down by 19,415. Chrysler brands volume was down 20,020. Fleet volume was down 21,642 units.

The sales-methods explanation is printed after the sales chart. This month, we did not sort it into brand-alphabetical order.

Method of Determining FCA US LLC’s Monthly Sales (unedited).

FCA US’s reported vehicle sales represent unit sales of vehicles to retail customers, deliveries of vehicles to fleet customers and to others such as FCA US’s employees and retirees as well as vehicles used for marketing. Most of these reported sales reflect retail sales made by dealers out of their own inventory of vehicles previously purchased by them from FCA US. Reported vehicle units sales do not correspond to FCA US’s reported revenues, which are based on FCA US’s sale and delivery of vehicles, and typically recognized upon shipment to the dealer or end customer. As announced on July 26, 2016, FCA US has modified its methodology for monthly sales reporting as follows:

  • Sales to retail customers by dealers in the U.S. are derived from the New Vehicle Delivery Report (“NVDR”) system and are determined as the sum of (A) all sales recorded by dealers during the month net of all unwound transactions recorded to the end of that month (whether the original sale was recorded in the current month or any prior month); plus (B) all sales of vehicles during that month attributable to past unwinds that had previously been reversed in determining monthly sales (in the current or prior months).
  • Fleet sales are recorded upon the shipment of the vehicle by FCA US to the customer or end user.
  • Other retail sales are recorded either (A) when the sale is recorded in the NVDR system (for sales by dealers in Puerto Rico and limited sales made through distributors that submit NVDRs in the same manner as for sales by U.S. dealers) or (B) upon receipt of a similar delivery notification (for vehicles for which NVDRs are not entered such as vehicles for FCA employees).
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