By on August 10, 2015

TTAC FCA USA sales chart July 2015

Each and every month, a great deal of attention is paid to the length of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. growth streak. July 2015, for example, was the 64th consecutive month in which FCA, formerly known as the Chrysler Group, reported a year-over-year sales gain.

Yet so much of FCA’s rate of expansion in the U.S. market is muddied by dreadful results in a few small corners of their lineup.

The Fiat brand suffered a 15-percent decline in July sales compared with the same period one year earlier. As the 500X finally began generating proper volume — 962 copies were sold last month — the 500L posted a 78-percent drop. The 500’s 17-percent year-over-year slide was its ninth consecutive decrease.

Discontinued models help to clarify the year-over-year picture, but they don’t help us forecast that which is ahead. The Dodge Avenger has been winding down for more than a year. July Avenger volume plunged 98 percent, a loss of 4,240 units, to just 78 sales. Similarly, the Ram Cargo Van has no future. Sales of the Grand Caravan-based commercial product plunged 97 percent.

As for the Grand Caravan and its better-selling Chrysler Town & Country sibling, their plant’s shutdown earlier this year for retooling dramatically hindered their volume in the first-half of 2015. In July, too, they were jointly down 33 percent.

2014 Fiat 500L Lounge

To say these products don’t count is to ignore history. In July 2014, the Fiat brand, Avenger, Ram C/V, and the Windsor-built vans added nearly 30,000 units to FCA’s U.S. sales tally, but setting them aside for a moment allows us to get a clearer picture of the status of the bulk of FCA’s lineup. Jeep set a 22nd consecutive monthly sales record. Dodge sold more Challengers last month than in any July in the model’s history. Chrysler 200 volume jumped 85 percent.

If FCA can’t eventually find minivan recovery, if Fiat sales continue to go down the toilet, if the Ram ProMaster City can’t pick up where the Ram Cargo Van left off, if the 200 can’t continue to make up for the Avenger’s losses, than this snapshot tells us little. Moreover, besides Fiat, minivans, and discontinued models, there are struggling models in the FCA lineup: the Durango and 300 are in decline and Ram P/U growth has slowed considerably of late.

Nevertheless, a closer look at FCA sales figures makes it appear as though the automaker’s growth is even more significant than a first glance suggests. If Fiat and minivans recover, is FCA thus poised to continue its surge? Or will the recent recall/buyback flap and a product rollout schedule with few all-new product rollouts put an end to the fun and games?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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43 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Many Parts Of FCA’s Lineup Are Growing Faster Than The FCA Lineup...”


  • avatar

    As a 4th time Chrysler owner, I must say that Chrysler does a poor job advertising their vehicles. They rely too heavily on the internet and line-of-sight to advertise their vehicles, but they don’t bother explaining the feature set.

    Why aren’t they heavily advertising the 200’s AWD system when Winter comes?

    Many people have no idea you can even get Chargers and 300 with AWD.

    They don’t bother advertising the lame driver experiences of the Front-Wheel-Drive soul-less import econoboxes. WHY?

    Why aren’t they heavily advertising the Jeep interior.

    I don’t remember seeing ads for the DART.

    ADVERTISING IS EVERYTHING. Kia’s got goddamned hamsters selling uglyazz cars for Godssakes to the tune of rap music.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, don’t worry. We get to drive pretty much everything they have to offer whenever we rent. No need for advertising if I encounter their entire model range at every Avis.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “They don’t bother advertising the lame driver experiences of the Front-Wheel-Drive soul-less import econoboxes. WHY?”

      Because people who care about the driving experiences of their 4 door sedans have already seen Car and Driver rank the 200 in 9th place behind all those soulless econoboxes.

      • 0 avatar

        Car & Driver?

        I stopped reading that BULLSHIRT a long time ago.

        I come to THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS for the finest articles on automotive engineering…

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Really? When it comes to vehicle engineering, this about the last place to go for real information. It is merely the best of the popular internet sites for general rambling about vehicles.

          Go here if you want to learn something really worthwhile in engineering terms:

          http://articles.sae.org/automotive/browse/

          • 0 avatar

            I was originally going to turn that sentence into a joke:

            I come to THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS for the finest articles on automotive engineering from decades ago…

            But the left hemisphere of my brain decided against it…and well ..there ya go.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          C&D is indeed bullshirt, but that’s probably what a significant chunk of the driving enthusiast population is reading. I haven’t seen a review anywhere suggesting the 200 is a particularly engaging or soulful car.

          Left brain shoppers are going to have to forgive the 200’s compact-car backseat and unknown reliability history.

          Although the $8000 of incentives on V6 200Cs advertised for about a year straight at dealerships in my area may be enough to pull someone away from a v6 Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “They don’t bother advertising the lame driver experiences of the Front-Wheel-Drive soul-less import econoboxes. WHY?”

      Because even FCA has savvy execs who know they’ll never convert any smart people and they already have all the dummies.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Funny you’d mention the Dart. I saw an ad for it just this weekend, and I remember it because their ads are so rare.

      Can’t agree on the ‘ugly’ Kias, however. I’m a Kia partisan, but it seems lots of other people like the Kia look as well – particularly the Optima (and Forte, IMO). To each his own.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Theyre certainly better than Hyundais, Nissans, Toyotas, and the about-to-be-replaced Malibu, but the 200 looks better than Optima to me (not to mention Altima and Camry), and its look feels more original. Seeing some Kias at a glance (without the tiger nose grille to trigger recognition) doesnt immidiately register as a Kia. In otherwords, Im likely to mistake one of their cars for another automaker’s product, because it just looks derivitive at several angles.

        The newer Impala looks better than their large FWD sedan, as does Taurus, 300 and Charger. Dont care for their crossover’s design language, but theyre more interesting than bland Chevy Traverse and Equinox. Different story with the GMC versions, though. The Soul has an original and very good look IMO. Probably my favorite Kia, at least until the GT-4 arrives (if they dont screw it up). I wish the new Hyundai crossover pickup wouldve been a Kia instead, I think their designers could do it justice.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Didnt they have a whole series of Dart ads featuring the guy from Zach and Miri Make a Porno not letting his neighbor touch his junk… er.. Dart?

  • avatar

    FCA is on a roll in the US and Canada with monthly sales increases, they will continue to uphold the sales momentum. Capitalising on the models that sell well, while using incentives to motivate their dealers to move iron that is less appealing.

    Month ends are exciting times for FCA dealers.

  • avatar
    RandomGhost

    The roll-up ads on these articles are particularly infuriating, having them roll up and obscure the data labels right as I am attempting to study the graphs.

    Give me banners, ad words, whatever you need to do to make money, anything but these roll-ups.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’m forever puzzled by Chrysler – they just cannot seem to find their way in recent times. The company seems forever to be either in financial straits, producing cars with defective engines and/or transmissions, unappealing product, low CR scores, etc., etc., etc.

    Whether some or all of this is true, they get a lot of undue negative publicity compared to the other OEMs.

    I used to be a big Chrysler fan back in the 1980s & 1990s, but would be very hesitant to buy another because of the perception of their vehicles regardless how much I like the 300 & 200 models. After all, the Chrysler 300 is the LAST true 3-box, RWD American sedan on the road, and that should count for something.

    It doesn’t appear that Fiat has benefited the company at all, but at least kept them in business. I hope for Chrysler’s sake they can turn things around once and for all, but I’m not optimistic. Time will tell…

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “I hope for Chrysler’s sake they can turn things around once and for all, but I’m not optimistic.”

      That’s your conclusion about 64 straight months of sales growth? Maybe you are projecting unrelated issues onto FCA.

      • 0 avatar
        mikehgl

        How is it that a company that has enjoyed this much success as of late has nothing revised or changed for the 16 model year and acts like it is desperate to hook up with someone, anyone, for the sake of economy of scale?
        Stop wasting money of the fringe brands. Should of never brought Fiat back to the states. Sell Maserati. Go with the mainstream, profitable brands and quit screwing around before the company goes belly up. Again.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          @mikehgl,

          Perhaps they saw the success of the Mini and New Beetle and wanted a slice. Its not like the 500 was supposed to sell in big numbers, and its not like there arent future vehicles in the making for the brand (MX-5 based roadster). Fiat did not intend to be a mainstream brand here competing with Ford, Toyota, ect. Perhaps they “should of” made that clear.

          Things are changing within the company, but the “right now” people refuse to see it. Things are getting better as they roll out compeditive mainstream products like the Cherokee, 200, and Renagade. Spending some money on niche products like Hellcat and Maserati helps brand image and company morale, if not volume sales right away. Why do you suppose Ford built the new GT?

          Sergieo wants to merge with other companies based on his view of where the industry is, or should be, heading (consolidation) in his opinion. Its been his obsession for quite a while, and the reason he picked up Chrysler Group when the US Govt wanted to offer it for pretty much anyone who wanted it.

          I dont happen to agree with him, although he has some good points. Maybe its that I dont want to agree with him because I dont want to wake up one day and have only 2-3 automakers (with fifty-leven brands each) to choose from. I just dont think progress would be well-served in that scenario.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      ” would be very hesitant to buy another because of the perception of their vehicles regardless how much I like the 300 & 200 models.”

      So, you let other people’s preception stop you from buying cars you like?

      If its your preception youre refering to, how could it be worse now than in the 1980s/1990s? They had two major successes in that time frame, the 1994+ Ram and the minivan. Both known for poor quality in general and crappy automatic transmissions specificly. The Neon was compeditive (despite its three speed auto) but also wasnt particularly well built or reliable (namely head gaskets). The “cloud” cars were roomy but woefully unreliable, the LH cars were probably worst in class as far as quality and reliability. Jeep’s 4.0 I-6 was reliable but like their parent company’s vehicles, the rest of the vehicle was pretty much junk with wiring problems, poor fit/finish, failure-prone automatics and so forth.

      Id trust most any newer Chrysler product over an 80s/90s era version. Case in point is the 5.7L V-8 in the 300C. Its been in production for quite a while and has had no major reoccuring issues (unlike the horrible 2.7L V-6 in other words). The Pentastar V-6 has, thus far, a better reputation than past V-6s.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        This. I would say the current stuff is far more reliable than the stuff of the 80’s/90’s. A friend of mine has an ’04 short-wheelbase minivan with 220K on it and the original transmission & engine. Only “major” repair was a radiator that split open (plastic side tank) at 180K. Other than that its just been brakes/shocks/struts & fluid changes.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    FCA has finally gotten rid of almost everything in its lineup that was an embarrassment to the company. Old 200/sebring/avenger, Jeep liberty, Commander, ….to name a few, although I would say the Journey probably belongs in that bunch but haven’t driven the updated version. I think they finally have a lineup that can sell mostly on its merits rather than deeply discounted price.

    That being said, the company as a whole and relentless increases in sales is so heavily dependent on SUV’s and trucks that I seriously fear the next spike in gas prices will not only dent all the increases, but seriously endanger the company. They need to diversify….badly.

    I do agree that the company has been on a serious tear, but it has as much to with gas prices as it does product. What would that sales picture look like at $4.00/gallon gasoline? I submit that Chrysler would be back to 2009 sales levels.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      They have one (1) SUV with the wrangler, and they have the best MPG of any fullsize truck with the diesel, they’re fine.

      The bigger issue should be with GM that’s raised prices on the fullsize SUV by $10-20k to pay for niche cars. As gas prices stay low, they stand to lose the most volume from unfortunate pricing.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Well, by SUV I was including crossovers….sorry. Semantics. In any event, Jeep and Ram (which is realistically just pickups due to small promaster volume) outsell Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat by approx 2 to 1. Its true that jeep has some cute utes in its lineup now that can help absorb some of the shock of a gasoline price spike, but that is still a pretty bad mix and cute utes are still not as economical as their similarly sized sedans and hatchback competitors. If history tells us anything, people run from large vehicles in a high fuel price environment, even if they are best in class. 22 mpg combined still sucks at $4/gallon and consumers have shown time and again in the US that they aren’t willing to pay the diesel premium.

        Just saying, they are riding high now, but FCA is so truck/SUV/crossover heavy that they are not prepared for anything other than cheap gasoline sales environment.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Perhaps, in terms of the short term I feel people would be better able to make major changes to the budget if need be. Gas that’s $2 more a gallon doesn’t make a big difference in a crossover getting 25 MPG in terms of eating or starving, ASSUMING the individual buying it isn’t living pay check to pay check in it at $2 a gallon. Big assumption, I give you.

          I feel if another fuel spike happens it will happen in 15-25 years down the road when no one expects it and no one is prepared for it. That’s when it really hurts, as evidenced by the 197xs and 200Xs.

          This all assuming we don’t get the same idiots running California’s fuel prices up, into office in mass.
          Many of the people that have vehicles with higher fuel usage simply didn’t buy new vehicles, now that the economy is somewhat less crazy, they’re going back to the vehicles they want.
          From what I can see.

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            I hear you. I drive a lot, more than 20k miles per year. The difference between the car I have and the car I want at $4/gallon gas is probably close to $2000 in gasoline annually. I, like anyone else, often rationalize stupid purchases, but more and more I tend to look at my kid’s college funds and retirement fund and just suck it up and make the smart choice. The joy of getting older. But the rational decision is rarely the fun one.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    You can’t pull the Avenger out the numbers. That is terrible statistically analysis. The Avenger/200 should be treated as the same thing since they were basically the same car, sold at the same dealership.

    FCA is on pace to sell less midsized sedans than 2013. They’ll do more than 2014 because of the slow death of the Avenger and the lack of 200 sales early in the year. 2015 will probably have higher transaction prices than 2013, but volume may actually be down.

    This is like talking about how the Escape and Fusion were up big in 2011, but not mentioning that the Milan and Mariner were axed in 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      *statistical

      bah, can’t edit

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The upside being that the JS 200/Avenger mix was nearly 50% fleet and the new UF 200’s mix is 70-80% retail.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        No doubt. The 200 is certainly a success and Chrysler’s best midsized car in forever. Still, taking out a model to make, very good sales increases, seem even better is worthless analysis. Let’s pull 2010 Coblat numbers to make the 2011 Cruze look like it was an even bigger success than it was!

        Heck, the 200 has already eclipsed it’s 2014 sales number and is on pace to be 25% above 200/Avenger sales last year with a higher ATP and better retail sales.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think FCA has created a problem of it’s own making.

    FCA’s numbers are reliant on price, being more affordable than it’s competition for what on the surface appears to be an equivalent product.

    It’s pickup and SUV market has boomed, mainly driven by pricing.

    The problem with FCA is it’s inconsistent quality and the image it’s product now have. That is a cheaper vehicle that’s more prone to failures.

    Even here in Australia I do think FCA has increased market share more than many of it’s competitors and even with a larger increase (percentage terms) than in the US.

    FCA has done this by the use of pricing and with some clever marketing on it’s more popular vehicles, like the Grand Cherokee.

    The Grand Cherokee is a very capable off roader………when a person is lucky enough to have one that isn’t prone to issues.

    The Grand Cherokee is one of the lowest priced 4×4 SUVs here as well and is viewed by many as a budget SUV. The Asian SUV manufacturers have placed themselves in a better position.

    With that said and done the Grand Cherokee is the largest selling SUV, but many of these are going into the suburbs.

    FCA now needs to have the ability to produce vehicles that are consistent in quality. If they can’t they will end up with the usual “Chrysler Disease” of poor quality.

    For FCA to improve it’s quality will raise the price of it’s vehicles, thus reducing it’s attractiveness to the many who buy FCA’s because they can’t or don’t want to spend money on a decent quality vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Ram Pickups plain testdrive better than the competition, as test drives are done unloaded. Particularly the air suspension ones. Any even half decent Ram salesman can point out that their pickups are properly “leveled”, have a nice “stance”, while both GM’s and Ford’s have a pretty pronounced forward list, that looks “stupid”/cheap to the uninitiated, when empty. The Tundra is so rounded everywhere, the forward list is better hidden.

      I’m not sure if Ram prices are generally lower, but even at price parity, their focus on spending money that looks good at point-of-sale, like said air suspension, interior, etc., has been good to them.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        stuki,
        Here I do like the Grand Cherokee and it is well equipped.

        The problem I speak of is the inconsistencies with FCA vehicles.

        There are some good vehicles, but also many that arrive with very poor quality control.

        To improve the quality control will cost money. Good quality control will also identify issues, even from suppliers to prevent poor quality making it to the consumer.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I’m having my own issues with FCA.

    As I mentioned on here that my Dodge Dart had some problems with the engine. FCA ultimately decided it needed a new engine.

    My car has been at a dealership awaiting a new engine for over 30 days, and no one from the technicians at said dealership to FCA’s customer service, knows when an engine will be available.

    I’ve already been jumping through hoops to start the buy-back process on my car.

    I’ll be honest with you, after this fiasco I doubt I will ever own another FCA product again.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      A future Honda/Toyota customer in the making.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s pretty terrible. Good customer service would mean they could swipe an engine from production and keep you as a customer (maybe). As it is, they’ve lost you for a decade, and maybe forever.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        Yeah, that’s the bummer. I was contemplating upgrading to a 200S or V6 Charger in a few years.

        I mean, I get that machines will fail when you least expect it; I just find the customer service part of things to be lacking, and the dealership did everything they could on there end. Usually it’s the other way around.

    • 0 avatar
      ErRoc

      omer333, sorry to hear about your engine issues. I have a 1.4L Rallye with the DDCT and have have 0 issues. What powertrain is in yours?

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        You are one of the lucky ones. Did yours have all the ECU reflashes before or after you got it?

        I have the 2.4 Tigershark that’s also in a bunch of other cars now. Which is why I can’t understand why the bloody engine’s on back-order!

        • 0 avatar
          ErRoc

          My friend has a Limited with 2.4L with AT and seems to be OK. Got the ECU reflashes done and it helped with fuel economy and acceleration. I think the 2.4L production is at capacity since the Renegade and 200 are ramping up. Might be the reason for the delay.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Any analysis of FCA should start with profit margins. Despite having almost 80% of their sales in trucks (which should have higher margins), FCA has the lowest margins among their peers. Clearly they are buying market share, which is not a valid long term strategy.

  • avatar

    The problem with 200 is that it is more a large compact than midsize car. It is based on compact car (like say Avensis/Scion or original Passat) is more appropriate for Europe as a midsize than US. Malibu suffered fro the same issue. And unknown reliability which does not project well from previous model.

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