Cherokee Is Jeep's Best Seller Three Months Running
In each of the last three months, the Cherokee has been the best-selling model at America’s fastest-growing volume brand. Jeep sales are up 44% in the United States through the first eleven months of 2014, an improvement of 191,895 units.
Excluding the Cherokee, which wasn’t on sale until the fourth-quarter of 2013, Jeep sales are still up 10% in 2014 and 15% in November. Those Cherokee-less increases still far outpace the auto industry as a whole, which is up a little more than 5% this year; a little less than 5% in November.
Yet even before Jeep once again broadens its lineup with the subcompact Renegade, the Cherokee helped power the brand to new heights. The Jeep brand last topped the 500,000 mark in calendar year 1999. Jeep sold 629,074 utility vehicles during the first eleven months of 2014.
During the September-to-November period, however, the Cherokee’s importance was revealed with greater clarity. It led all Jeeps with 14,639 sales in September, equal to 26.5% of the brand’s total. In October, the Cherokee accounted for 28.5%, or 15,715, of Jeep’s 55,198 sales. Last month, the Cherokee rose to fifth place in overall SUV/crossover rankings with 16,945 sales, 29.5% of all Jeep sales.
So far this year, the Cherokee ranks third in Jeep sales with 160,793 units, behind the Grand Cherokee’s 166,610 units and the Wrangler’s 161,325. Grand Cherokee volume is up 6%; Wrangler sales are up 12%. Jeep sold 84,028 Patriots, a 21% increase, over the first eleven months of 2014. Compass sales are up 14% to 56,318. 33% of FCA’s U.S. sales are Jeep-derived this year, up from 27% in 2013. Jeep was the company’s top-selling brand every month this year except for February and March.
Together, the Jeep brand and Dodge’s Durango and Journey generated 772,504 SUV/crossover sales through the end of November 2014. That’s well ahead of Ford/Lincoln’s 681,670; well back of GM’s 896,371.
As for specific models, six specific SUV/crossover nameplates outsell the leading Jeep. Eight different utilities, including two Jeeps, outsell the Cherokee. For every Cherokee sold this year, Honda sells 1.9 CR-Vs. Keep in mind, however, that the CR-V is yet to be challenged in Honda’s own showrooms by the HR-V. The Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass combined for 301,139 sales through the end of November, very nearly on par with the CR-V’s 302,650-unit total. Then again, when Honda begins selling HR-Vs, Jeep will be marketing Renegades, as well.
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.
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One more item to consider: I am smitten with the 200, but often need to get a little dirty doing home improvements. It's saying something that I'm considering the Cherokee as the 200 on stilts, in many ways. Not just the fact it's on the same platform, but that the Cherokee has the same options available. Kinda telling.