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USA sales up, Canada down (updated)

by David Zatz on

FCA US sales shot up by 16%, from 153,373 in October 2017 to 177,391 last month. Every brand but Fiat rose — with Dodge’s 38% gain leading. Retail took 80% of sales (141,200 vs 36,191 fleets), an improvement over past years.

The gains were all impressive:

  • Jeep rose 9% to 72,800
  • Ram rose 14% to 54,542, its best October, on the back of a 20% gain in Ram 1500 sales
  • Dodge rose 38% to 33,872
  • Chrysler rose 21% to 13,289, with a Pacifica record
  • Alfa Romeo climbed 44% to 1,737, more than half of which were Stelvios

Fiat continued its rapid decline with a 35% drop, falling to just 1,151, with every nameplate falling. Adding standard equipment and cutting the price of the 500 seems to have had no effect.

Was there other bad news? Not especially. At Jeep, the Renegade fell by 3% and the Wrangler by 1%, which were just blips compared with the 26% Compass gain and 15% Cherokee rise; even the unchanged Grand Cherokee rose by 11%, possibly as Cherokee buyers chose to jump up a level. Those thousand Patriot sales won’t be missed.

Ram’s news was all good, with ProMaster Van jumping 63% and the pickups by 11%. Chrysler even saw a boost to the 300, with a 37% gain. Over at Dodge, the Charger fell by 22% but the Challenger rose by 34%, essentially a wash; the real news was a stunning 357% gain in Caravan sales, from 2,431 to 11,110. That took place even though Pacifica rose.  The old Journey posted a 24% sales gain, and is now the third best seller at Dodge. The Caravan was #1 by a huge margin, 11,110 to 6,316.

At Alfa Romeo, the specialty 4C dropped from 45 to 34 sales, but the Giulia rose 10% to 801 and the Stelvio shot up 108% to 902.

For the year, FCA US is up by 7% over YTD 2017. Jeep is up by 19%, Ram by 1%, and Dodge by 1%; while Chrysler fell by 9% and Fiat by 43%. There may be new Chryslers on the way soon to rescue one of the company’s namesake brands. (Canada is after the table.)

Up in Canada, the news was not as good; but Fiat Chrysler had further to fall. Sales dropped from 22,425 in 2015, to 19,527 in 2016, to 17,211 in 2017, to 14,669 in October 2018 — a long, steady fall. So far this year, FCA Canada sales have been substantially lower than in 2017.

The Canadian news is not all bad, with Ram rising by 10% and the Grand Cherokee up 39%. Jeep had 4,491 sales, up 7% year-to-date (but down 7% in October, due to reduced Wranglers).

Dodge had just under 3,000 sales; a 44% drop in October Caravan sales walloped the brand (the Caravan is, by far, Dodge’s biggest seller — it’s still roughly four times as popular as the #2 Dodge, which is now the Durango). Journey sales have plummeted by 81%, to just 274; year to date, the Journey’s dropped by 55%, from 11,780 in YTD 2017 to 5,287 in YTD 2018. Dodge was down 44% in October, 27% for the year to date.

Most likely, we’re seeing the removal of incentive supports from vehicles that were popular as value/bargain leaders. The Journey and Caravan have been absurdly well discounted in Canada for some time. Sales may be dropping, but the mix is getting decidedly richer.

Over at Chrysler, there was no good news, with the 300 dropping by a third and the Pacifica by half, to just 216 minivan sales for the month — and a total of a mere 400 Chrysler sales, down 50% versus last October and down 23% year to date.

Ram was all good news; Ram 1500 up 10%, Ram pickups/chassis-cabs up 9% as a whole, ProMaster Van up 13%, ProMaster City up 218% (okay, to just 89). Ram is still down 14% YTD, though.

Alfa Romeo actually dropped by 35%; the Giulia rose but 4C and Stelvio fell, with a total of 89 sales in October 2018. The brand is up 91% year to date.

Fiat saw an increase in sales, but it was almost spurious; they sold thirty Spiders, and yes, that was enough, with all the other cars holding steady, to log a 60% gain. That should tell you the embarrassing numbers involved: just 15 500s sold in the month, and just 48 Fiats total. That’s 48 Fiats, across four different nameplates (and three different platforms). Year to date, Fiat sold just 596 cars (down 73%), which means that the company sold more Alfa Romeo Stelvios than all Fiats combined. The worst-selling Jeep, the Renegade, racked up over a thousand sales; the worst-selling Dodge pegged 2,076. (Not counting the long-dead Patriot, Dart, or Viper.)

Overall, FCA Canada has now reached 200,600 sales, year to date, down 13% from the 230,344 it reached from January through October 31, 2017.

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