Chart Of The Day: The 200 And A Decade Of Chrysler Group Midsize Car Sales

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
chart of the day the 200 and a decade of chrysler group midsize car sales

Through the first nine months of 2014, sales of the Chrysler 200 are down 27%. That’s to be expected, as the 200 was transitioning from Sebring-based (but Pentastar-powered!) fleet favourite to sleeker 2015 200 form. Granted, Toyota is transitioning from Camry to refreshed Camry and sales are up 5% this year, but that’s a somewhat invalid comparison for another day. Dodge Avenger volume is down 37% to 49,363 units in 2014, but again, this was an anticipated decline, as Chrysler Group has actually killed off the Avenger.

Jointly, the duo is down 31% to 124,505 units. For the third time, this is not a shocker. We expected a period of decreasing 200 volume, and we knew the Avenger’s drops were going to be severe.

Perhaps Fiat Chrysler Automobiles does not need the remaining, sibling-less 200 to sell in 200/Avenger-like fashion. But if we set aside the year-to-date numbers to look only at September’s results, we’ll certainly see that the new 200 is, in fact, not coming close to selling in 200/Avenger-like numbers. In fact, the 200 and remaining Avenger – 1677 were sold in September – aren’t selling like the 200 and Avenger did last year, either. While 200 sales jumped 15% in September, that was not enough to overcome the near disappearance of Avenger sales.

The pair was down 14% to 12672 units, a loss of 2010 units. Is that a concern if the new car has greater potential for profit generation? Not at all. But the discounts are already piling up on the 2015 200, with a $2500 cash allowance being just the starting point.

Of course, Chrysler Group midsize car sales fluctuate wildly, and we could yet see a surge by year’s end. The accompanying chart shows nine-month U.S. sales totals over the last nine years.

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  • Peter E. Puffington IV Peter E. Puffington IV on Oct 19, 2014

    The 200 may be very good. The problem for Chrysler is that it will have to be followed up by a couple of generations of very good 200 models before the average buyer in this segment is going to give it a serious on the hood nonwithstanding. Chrysler's image wasn't destroyed over one model run and it won't be rebuilt over one. Buyers in this segment are likely the least emotional and will always opt for the safe choice. The Japanese are bland, but they are known quantities. It is a reasonable bet that based on years of data they will be reliable appliances. The Chrysler doesn't have this yet and won't for some time. Even if the 200 was an absolute home run, this segment is so tight that it isn't going to make serious inroads for some time. In my early car buying days the Detroit 3 were always advertising the car that had "finally caught the imports". I eventually purchased an import and haven't looked back. There are some products now I would give a look at but I doubt I'd plunk down cash unless those models are backed up by solid efforts, especially in the midsize sedan class where they are all pretty indistinguishable anyway. Bottom line, why buy this over an Accord. Are the wonderful leather seats enough to overcome my not too distant memory of slipping transmissions and other trademark Chrysler issues? not yet, but given time those memories will fade so long as new ones aren't created. Will Chrysler stick with it that long?

    • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 19, 2014

      The irony is that it is quite likely that this segment will start to decline just as Chrysler gets its chance to become competitive. If a product cycle is five years long and Chrysler needs two generations to earn an reputation, then this will process will require another decade. If the market transitions toward more crossovers, then everyone in this space will be competing for a shrinking piece of pie. That shrinking pie will make the market increasingly unattractive to those that don't have either leadership or a solid niche. If it follows the path of other segments, then most of the lesser players will bail out over time, leaving only a few of the majors and perhaps one or two others that hang in there for the scraps.

  • Mags1110 Mags1110 on Oct 19, 2014

    Pch101, nicely said. This renegade cant get here fast enough. Kill the twin step brothers and set the bar higher Chrysler, we all deserve it.

  • Jeff GM currently holds 16% market share in the US with GM's peak market share in 1962 of 50.7%. Current market share for Stellantis in the US is 12% and Ford is 13.4%.
  • Chiefmonkey Honda just cuts too many corners. There's no reason why the base Accord should have a 4 speaker stereo lol. It's a $28,000 midsize sedan, not a Mitsubishi Mirage! Not to diss the Mirage it's a great car for what it is. And what's up with Honda's obsession with the dullest most spartan looking black cloth or leather interiors? Literally every other automaker I can think of offers two, three, four possibilities. If I order even the top trim accord in the blue paint, I am limited to a black interior...why???? Strangely, if I order the white paint, the possibilities expand overwhelmingly to two: black, or dentist's office gray (which clashes with white.) There's zero rhyme or reason to it. Just a cheap, corner cutting company.
  • Dartman It was all a scam just to gin up some free publicity. It worked. Tassos go back to sleep; no ones on your lawn. Real ‘murricans prefer hot dogs to gyros.
  • ToolGuy I plan to install a sink in the crawl space soon. After that I plan to put washer and dryer hookups on my roof.
  • ToolGuy "That power team adds an electric supercharger"YES!