By on April 11, 2015

FCA US sales chart by vehicle categoryNot surprisingly, one of only a couple automakers with an SUV-only auto brand is enjoying record sales at that SUV brand in an era of booming utility vehicle sales.

At this stage in 2013, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/Chrysler Group was selling more cars in the United States than SUVs and crossovers. Those figures flipped one year later and became even more disparate in the first-quarter of 2015.

More than four out every ten FCA sales in the United States in the first three months of this year were SUVs or crossovers: Jeeps, Dodge Durangos, and Dodge Journeys. We only recently covered the enormity of Jeep’s record-setting March success.

Other factors are shaking up the vehicle mix at FCA dealers, as well, such as the retooling at the company’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, and the increased number of commercial vans available. But with SUV/crossover sales rising 12% across the board in early 2015, it’s no secret that FCA was well positioned to take advantage, and that advantage has seriously rejigged the automaker’s overall U.S. sales figures.

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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29 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Is Very Much An SUV-Oriented Automaker...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Ergonomics and visibility are trumping “longer, lower, wider”. Excellent!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      You’re talking about ergonomics while sitting still, of course. Once moving at any semblance of speed, you’d think even public school indoctrinateds could figure out that putting wheels on a water tower is hardly the most ergonomic way to travel around. Those even marginally sentient amongst us, even realize very quickly that children with car sickness issues does remarkably better in the back of an A8 than a Range Rover. Semi crippled fatsos may find ingress/egress meaningfully more ergonomic in mid height vehicles like CUV’s. For the rest of us, any improvement is largely below the threshold of giving a toot.

      Similarly, the visibility enhancement of tall/wide/fat/tinted vehicles, are restricted to Myopistan. Where Citizen Drone is incapable of recognizing his own visibility was actually better when everyone drove Accords, than when he himself drives a Tahoe, while everyone else drives a Topkick. In more advanced places, one would hope it appears fairly obvious that the outline of a Miata blocks less visibility than that of a Peterbilt.

      In a country even remotely free, of course people can drive whatever they bloody well fancy. But, again assuming a country with some remaining semblance of freedom left, they can also drive at whatever speed they bloody well fancy. And then things will sort themselves out just fine. At least for those of us who are neither born again incompetents, nor wannabe leeches devoid of any ability to anything more useful than meddle in the lives of their less useless neighbors.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    SUV-oriented automaker? Well, that’s where the money is!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Yes – now. What happens when Jeep/SUVs fall out of favor? The market goes through fads, only to change at the drop of a hat. FCA just isn’t putting out the car and truck models to survive a possible steep drop in Jeep sales.

      Ever since the government stole the Jeep design from American Bantam and handed it over to Willys-Overland, whoever owned Jeep ran into trouble: Willys, Kaiser, AMC, and Chrysler before the bankruptcy. You can claim it was bad decision-making, especially the “merger of equals” with Daimler, but that’s how curses work.

      The Curse Of Jeep remains a threat, with Fiat (FCA) the next probable victim.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        If something that has been occuring for nearly 20 years, is it still concedered a fad?

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Lorenzo, I was convinced that Chrysler was going to disappear and selling them to Fiat was just a government’s way to not be responsible for the inevitable death and dismemberment. I was wrong. The RAM pickups got better under FCA, the Chrysler 200 is a good effort, and we somehow ended up with the Hellcat. I now believe that FCA is capable of making the next Chrysler 200 a solid mid-pack contender capable of competing for buyers with the Ford Fusion. I also believe that Jeep will still be selling SUV/CUV type vehicles to buyers who need/want that type of vehicle long after the fad ends.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          George B, I was never a Chrysler fan, and I, too, thought that we could have stuck a fork in Chrysler because they were done.

          In retrospect, Sergio did a fine job. Daimler did an outstanding job on the redesign of the WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011-2017. I never thought I would spring for one, but I did.

          Now GM? Yeah, that albatross is still hanging around our necks and will be ad infinitum.

          But GM can’t lose. They’re playing with the House’s money and have the full faith and credit of the United States of America behind them. They should party like it’s 2007 all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      TomHend

      Thanks for posting highdesertcat, I am with you 100%-you know I was wondering if Lou_BC would go after a Muslim if he used the words “green weeine”?

      You know what else is laughable? Government, that the libs worship, is never greedy. HA they take 50% of my labor here in NYC.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        TomHend, I’m always surprised to find that there are actually people who read what I feel compelled to write.

        I can appreciate everyone’s point of view, but I am my own man and I do have my own beliefs. I also pay my own way in life.

        I am certain that Lou_BC and others feel strongly about their own convictions, but I will live my life according to my own beliefs, beliefs that are shaped by my life’s experiences – not someone else’s.

        Most of the fans of big government have never been in business for themselves or had to make payroll every two weeks and make all those nasty pre-payments to the IRS and state revenooers every 90 days, even if they lose money.

        If they did, they would be singing a different tune.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I’m certainly happy for Chysler/FCA. It’s about time they enjoyed another “fat” period. That said, I’m not sure I’m personally all that happy with the latest boom in SUV/CUV sales overall. However, there’s no getting around the fact that Americans, given half a chance, will almost always take their cars in size large.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I would have to disagree with you there. Of all my friends who jumped on the SUV craze 10-15 years ago, all have replaced those vehicles with smaller or more efficient vehicles. Only 2 of the 9 have stayed with RWD…in their case, they went with the Jeep GC or BMW X5 replacing their Tahoes.

      What crossovers offer is easier ingress/egress and better sightlines in traffic and out of the vehicle. I had a chance to drive a ’49 Chrysler a few weeks ago – the seating height was one inch higher than my Outback. The “longer-lower-wider” trend of the late 50’s in the name of style set the manufacturers off on a competitive trend…Volvo excepted until recently.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I would hardly call the current crop of CUVs large. The new jeep Cherokee, I believe has about as much road presence as a Camry, only it sits a bit higher.

    For the most part the new Utes get the same mog of the cars of yesteryear so I am not sure what the issue is. Who wouldn’t want an AWD CUV that gets 26 mpg with a hatchback rather than a trunk?

  • avatar
    dbar1

    FCA had perfect timing on having the best lineup of CUV’s. The best part for them is that they are also making quality cars as well too just in case the economy takes a hit and people look to their cheaper offerings (cars).

  • avatar
    enzl

    As someone who held out as long as possible, I’m pleased with the rise of the hatch, even if it means butch ones.

    FCA has maxxed its opportunities, and they got me to buy (well, lease)…they have done well by the US brands, imo.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    The categories are getting blurred. Our Ford Flex is technically classified as a “truck”, but I think of it as a traditional station wagon, a descendant of the Country Squire.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Good for them. acquiring amcs remains was one of the best decisions made there, even though the eagle brand fizzled out. The amc designed xj and zj really became a cash cow and great nameplate to grow with, and they could still sell the tj and people would buy them, though they have done an amazing job at keeping an outdated platform current with the jk.

  • avatar
    Ion

    My first thought was “house of cards”. Then I remembered that the 200, the dart and isnt there supposed to be some RWD Dodge/Alfa in the works? I hate to sound like Jimmyy but around here the majority of FCA buyers are either diehard loyalists or low credit specials. The loyalists die out but the bad credit pool never drys up. The dealers here are just as happy to have you drive off in a 200 as they are a durango

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Maybe the 200/Dart, but the more upscale vehicles like Challanger, Grand Cherokee, Ram, are luring lots of new customers in.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I see a lot of Dodge Challengers in relatively affluent neighborhoods where nobody would even consider the Mitsubishi-derived Dodge FWD vehicles. I continue to believe that “Mopar” is a much stronger brand than “Dodge” and wish the Challenger wasn’t so tall and heavy, but a win is a win.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        My next vehicle is likely to be a Challenger with the 6.2 V8, new or used, but I don’t know if that will be next year or in 5 years.

        If someone told me just a year ago that I’d be considering the Challenger as my next car purchase, let alone nearly decided upon it as such, I would have told them how misguided they were.

        What changed?

        After many years of appreciating agile handling & a lithe, sporting feel in my vehicles, Dodge hit one out of the park for anyone ever wanting to experience an old-school, muscular & handsome exterior aesthetic, with a stout transmission and equally stout, rumbling, snorting V8, with more than acceptable build quality inside and out, that not only can serve as a flash of muscle car past, but can double as a reliable, safe, and even comfortable daily driver, al, at a relatively affordable price.

        Dodge has simply perfected the modern muscle car. And while their interpretation doesn’t handle as well as a, say Stingray or a GT-R, their modern muscle car will absolutely embarrass classic muscle cars in the handling department, steering feel department, reliability department, while embarrassing classic muscle cars in terms of their near sole raison d’être; off the line acceleration.

        Dodge’s modern muscle cars even manage to get decent fuel economy (2x as good, at least, as what their predecessors managed, while managing to make more power).

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Dodge has simply perfected the modern muscle car,….”

          Ok, now….. They’re still a convertible top shy of perfection…… And an inch or so of sidewall in the biggest engined versions… If there was ever a car that screams out for a convertible top, it is the Challenger.

        • 0 avatar
          LectroByte

          Dead Wait, get back to us after you have your challenger for a year or two, maybe you can do an owner review. I like the looks of the challenger, but everyone I know that has owned one says the fantasy is much much better than the reality.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @DW

          Johan has a 2.0L CT6 waiting for you, and now you want a Challenger?

  • avatar
    Brumus

    @ Ion: I live in Quebec, where imports (or non-American automakers) have their highest market penetration in North America.

    Nonetheless, in some of Montreal’s nicer neighbourhoods I see a decent number of Grand Cherokees and even Wranglers; these same people, however, wouldn’t be caught dead with a Lincoln, Buick or Cadillac in the driveway.

  • avatar
    Rday

    bought a ram promaster high roof lwb van several weeks ago. It rides great has good brakes even though they squeal, gets mid to upper teens on mileage and shows alot of promise. Don’t like the fact that it may have a caravan transmission but will have to see. many people like it and i think it will bring alot of business to FCA

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