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FCA’s strong August in North America

by David Zatz on

FCA US happily reported a boost in sales from 176,033 in August 2017 to 193,718 in August 2018. That included a surprise 17% boost in retail sales, despite lower incentives.

The Ram 1500, now sold in new and classic forms, set a record month; Wrangler and the Ram brand set August records; and Alfa Romeo nearly doubled its sales, on the back of a six-fold hike in Stelvio sales. Indeed, with Fiat falling another 35%, Alfa Romeo easily beat the cheaper Italian brand.

august FCA sales

The bad news came from Dodge, which fell by 18%, with the Charger (-45%), Challenger (-26%), and Caravan (-24%) all falling. On the lighter Dodge side, the Durango was up 18%, and the Journey was up 28%. Chrysler, not surprisingly, saw 300 sales fall by 26%, but the Pacifica more than made up for it with a 20% gain. Overall, FCA minivans fell quite a bit; and the Caravan still out-sells the Pacifica by around 4,000. (Of note, the gain in Ram 1500 sales was higher than total Pacifica sales).

Mexico, Canada, incentives and competing companies after the table…

General Motors no longer reports monthly sales, having moved to a quarterly system. Ford, Honda, and Nissan all gained (4.1%, 1.3%, and 3.7%); Ford’s increase was driven, unsurprisingly, by pickups and fleet sales. Toyota dropped by around 1%.

Industry incentives were around 0.7% higher than in August 2017, but that wasn’t evenly distributed. BMW’s cash-on-the-hood jumped to around $5,680, according to ALG (quoted by Automotive News) to lead the rebate queens; Mercedes was second ($4,915). FCA actually dropped average incentives by 0.5% (to $4,425/car), buying each sale for less than Ford ($4,649) or GM ($4,820), a good place to be. The Japanese brands generally had much lower incentives, as usual. Kia was almost as high as FCA, but Hyundai was at a healthier $2,945/car.

Mexico. This week, FCA México was the first company division to report sales, which is rather unusual, reporting 7,438 sales. The lighter side was yet more Jeep growth and a Ram sales record; but the biggest sellers seem to be Dodge-and-Ram-badged Fiats and Mitsubishis, and Mitsubishi-badged Mitsubishis. They sold fewer than 1,000 Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Fiat cars, combined.

Canada. FCA Canada sales dropped by around 10% from last August, bringing a year-to-date drop of 14%, with Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa, and Ram all down; Jeep, down 2% but up 7% for the year to date, was the main bright spot. Alfa Romeo’s 10% tumble came despite a 42% in Stelvio sales, as the Giulia fell by 39%. Once again, the Fiat 124 actually outsold the 500, 36 to 27.

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