Chart Of The Day: Jeep's Importance At FCA In America

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Outside of Maserati, which sold more cars than Jaguar in August 2014, Jeep is America’s fastest-growing auto brand in 2014. Through the first eight months of 2014, Jeep’s U.S. volume is up 45%, an increase of more than 143,235 sales.

Total FCA/Chrysler Group sales are up 14%. That’s no small feat, but it’s abundantly apparent that Jeep is motivating much of the Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram gains. (Ram brand sales are up by nearly 58,000 units year-to-date.)

As FCA/Chrysler Group car volume plunges, sliding 18% this year according to the automaker, Jeep’s massive improvements are all the more important.

And it’s not all Cherokee-derived. Sales of Jeep’s other models, the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass, are up 11% in 2014. The Chrysler family now relies on the brand for more than three out of every ten sales, well up from fewer than two out of every ten in 2004.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Sep 27, 2014

    This seems to reflect differences in brand equity between cars and trucks in the US. There are some consumers who would never dream of buying an American passenger car but who would willingly buy an American truck or sport utility. The domestics have far more credibility as truck makers than as car makers. It seems that the goodwill lost by the likes of the Vega, Pinto, Citation, etc. didn't create a stigma for the trucks.

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    • Ect Ect on Sep 30, 2014

      @bkmurph The truth (as is often the case)is rather more prosaic. It had nothing to do with any passenger car stigma problem, or import-beating strategy. When Renault controlled AMC, they designed a new mid-sized sedan based on a Renault model, which was to be called the "Premier". Upscale models were to be powered by Renault V6 engines. When Chrysler bought AMC, what they wanted was the Jeep line and the then-new plant in Brampton. To get it, they had to agree to continue production and sale of the Premier, and to commit to a "take or pay" deal for the Renault engines. This meant that they had to put a brand on a car that was to be sold by Jeep dealers, and "Eagle" was what they came up with. It was clear at the time that, however good the Premier was, Chrysler had no heart for it (NIH, anyone?). They killed the product and the brand as soon as they could. Every one they made, or had to pay Renault for not making, was part of the price for getting Jeep and Brampton.

  • Mikeg216 Mikeg216 on Sep 28, 2014

    There's plenty of countries that have free trade agreement with the US to side step the chicken tax if they wanted to, if Toyota cannot sell pickup trucks to Americans no one can. Because let's face it, the tundra is a colossal failure if you look at their sales projections.

  • VoGo VoGo on Sep 28, 2014

    A Dutch company, headquartered in London, under Italian control. Vehicles engineered in assorted countries (including Germany and Italy) and assembled in multiple countries. How, exactly is Jeep 'American'? Is the B&B so easily fooled?

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    • VoGo VoGo on Sep 29, 2014

      @Vulpine Danio, Grand Cherokee - engineered by Daimler Cherokee - engineered by Fiat Compass/Patriot - engineered by Mitsubishi/Daimler JV But you are correct about the Wrangler.

  • Timtoolman Timtoolman on Sep 29, 2014

    I wonder how much of that was in the original plan, back when Chairman Lee was at the helm? Chrysler absorbed what was left of AMC in 1986, and kept the Cherokee and CJ-7, which was morphing into the YJ. Eagle was a failure, and eventually shut down, leaving, what, two SUV's? Soon, Jeep will be what Chrysler once hoped to be; the standard bearer for the company. Prices for Jeeps are creeping up and getting fancier by the minute. And I will soon own a new Wrangler of my own.