By on July 19, 2016

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

“Your word is your bond,” Melania Trump famously said. Or was it Michelle Obama?

We are pretty sure the current and potentially future First Ladies were not speaking about the words found in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ monthly U.S. sales reports. Yet questions have arisen — once again — regarding FCA’s sales practices and reporting methodologies. This time, rather than lawsuits from a Maserati dealer that operates stores in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, or an Illinois dealer of core FCA brands, the questions are being asked by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In March, Napleton Automotive’s lawsuit (filed by the same lawyer hired by Recovery Racing to sue FCA-owned Maserati last year) accused FCA of “‘strong arm’ tactics to get dealers to falsify sales reports that benefit the auto maker by creating ‘the appearance that [Fiat Chrysler’s] performance is better than, in reality, it actually is,’” according to The Wall Street Journal.

On July 11, reports Automotive News, “Investigators from the FBI and the SEC visited FCA field staff in their homes and offices on July 11 as part of the probe.” In FCA’s own statement, the automaker said yesterday that, “In its annual and quarterly financial statements, FCA records revenues based on shipments to dealers and customers and not on reported vehicle unit sales to end customers,” and confirmed cooperation with both the SEC and the Justice Department.

But what are the actual claims? As automakers report model-specific U.S. auto sales figures at the beginning of every month, FCA typically delves into great detail regarding the prior month’s performance and the year-to-date results.

Here are some of the greatest achievements claimed in FCA’s sales reports this year, sales reports that were amended to include a lengthy disclaimer beginning with March’s results. We’ve cribbed the bullet points directly from FCA.

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan red Detroit skyline

DECEMBER
FCA reported a 7-percent year-over-year increase to 2,243,907 sales in calendar year 2015, the highest-volume year for FCA/Chrysler Group since 2005.

  • 69th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
  • Annual U.S. sales up 7 percent in 2015; sixth consecutive year of annual sales growth.
  • Jeep brand sales up 42 percent; best monthly sales ever and best annual U.S. sales ever.
  • Eight FCA US vehicles set records in the month of December.

JANUARY
FCA sales rose 7 percent to 155,037 units in the first month of 2016 despite a 20-percent drop at Fiat and a 22-percent drop at Chrysler.

  • 70th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
  • Jeep brand sales up 15 percent; best January sales ever.
  • “Overall, FCA US achieved its best January sales in nine years,” said Senior Vice President of FCA North America sales, Reid Bigland.
  • Nine FCA US vehicles set records in the month of January.

FEBRUARY
A 12-percent year-over-year sales increase produced 182,879 FCA sales in February as Dodge, Jeep, and Ram combined for 27,033 additional sales.

  • 71st consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
  • Jeep brand sales up 23 percent; best February sales ever.
  • “Overall, FCA US realized its best February sales in 10 years,” Reid Bigland said.
  • Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, were up 27 percent in February, the brand’s best February sales since 2002.

MARCH
March’s 8-percent year-over-year increase resulted in 213,187 sales, including 26,511 minivan sales, up 132 percent from March 2015, when FCA’s Windsor, Ontario, minivan facility was temporarily shut down.

  • Dodge brand sales up 11 percent; Dodge Journey logs best March sales ever.
  • Jeep brand sales up 15 percent; best March sales ever.
  • Eight FCA US vehicles set records in the month of March.
  • Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan were up 148 percent in March, the minivan’s best March sales in nine years.

2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

APRIL
FCA U.S. sales increased by 10,604 units in April 2016 as Jeep’s 12,539-unit year-over-year improvement masked decreases at Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat.

  • Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, were up 12 percent in April, the brand’s best April sales since 2005.
  • Jeep brand sales were up 17 percent in April, the brand’s best April sales ever and its 31st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
  • Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass each record best monthly sales ever.
  • Seven FCA US vehicles set records in the month of April.

MAY
Year-over-year growth at FCA slowed noticeably in May, as industry-wide volume decreased in large part due to an abbreviated sales month. Total FCA volume rose by just 1 percent. The Ram brand was up by only 15 units.

  • FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 204,452 units, a 1 percent increase compared with sales in May 2015 (202,227 units), and the group’s best May sales in 11 years.
  • Reid Bigland: “Notwithstanding a challenging calendar, we managed to muscle our way to our strongest May sales in over 10 years.”
  • Jeep brand sales were up 14 percent in May for its best monthly sales ever.
  • In its second month on sale, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan posted sales of 2,495 units.

JUNE
A sixth consecutive monthly decline at Fiat and an eighth consecutive monthly decline at Chrysler didn’t stop Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from reporting a 75th consecutive company-wide increase, thanks to a 17-percent Jeep improvement and a 14-percent jump at Ram. First-half volume reportedly rose 6 percent to 1,152,259 units.

  • The Jeep brand has set a sales record in every month dating back to November 2013.
  • Sales of the Dodge Grand Caravan were up 79 percent last month for the minivan’s best June sales since 2008.
  • In its third month on sale, the Pacifica minivan posted sales of 7,207 units.
  • Four Jeep brand vehicles record their best June sales ever.

[Images: FCA]

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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18 Comments on “These Are FCA’s Greatest (Possibly Exaggerated) Sales Achievements This Year...”


  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    God I hope the new Pacifica and the soon to be hybrid do well.
    I loved the drive and hope the hybrid is as nice.

    Chrysler really needs this investment to pay off. It and the Cherokee are the only real new releases. That I can think of.

    All this before the Honda release of the next Odyssey…which is supposed to have some pretty nice advancements in the engine, trans and hybrid system.

    I guess the turbo diesel was pretty cool as well.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      Not really, they sell enough amortized Grand Caravans to prop up the Pacifica experiment. In fact their Grand Caravan sales exploded this year.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed3

        FCA sold 7207 Pacificas in June 2016. I’m actually really interested in tracking FCA’s minivan sales because they also sold 6054 Town & Country and 13473 Grand Caravan minivans. What is interesting is that most if not all Pacificas are probably being sold to retail customers.

        We will get a clear idea based on the Pacifica vs Town & Country/ Grand Caravan of the retail vs fleet breakdown. So this will be interesting to watch for the next year or so.

        Eventually, they will probably replace the Grand Caravan with some budget fleet oriented Pacifica trim.

        Does anybody know the average transaction price for the new Pacifica? I sat in one at NYAS and it seemed pretty nice.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          I don’t know the average, but the seller was really pushing.
          In fact, I was looking at a pretty fully loaded Pacifica for around 36K.
          The one issue the sales folks had was none was really sure about the two types of suspensions.
          They thought the one I had tested had the basic, but it shouldn’t have driven so well…they thought.
          But after reading all available information they had, t seemed it did have the better.
          I will wait to see but it did right great and was everything I wanted for 36K.

        • 0 avatar
          kit4

          Tons of Pacificas have made their way to Enterprise. Nothing has changed at Chrysler.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    “Silly FCA doesn’t know how to properly fudge sales numbers.”

    – said every BMW dealer in NA

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Most FCA products I see are Jeeps – Wranglers, Cherokees, Grand Cherokees and Renegades. Also a flurry of 200s – I guess they’re practically giving them away. While the 200 is a pretty car, something must be fundamentally wrong, or they missed something in the marketplace where they don’t sell. The Dart? Who cares. The 300? A very nice ride, for sure. I do see a few of those. Hardly any Fiats anywhere except on occasion. No surprise there.

    What I’d like to know is what breaks on Wranglers that they get so slammed on reliability? Do owners drive them into the ground or something? Wranglers I see are generally cleaner than my car, so I don’t think so. I wonder what?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Most complaints are electrical issues, followed by engine issues, which may be electrical-related. The most expensive electrical issue was with a computer module and the most expensive engine issue was head replacement, and both may have been covered under warranty. The worst safety issue, on 2007 models, was called “death wobble”, and that may have been a recall.

      It doesn’t matter how the issues are treated by FCA, whether it was covered by warranty or recall, and whether you had any out of pocket expense. If you owned one of the affected vehicles, it was a time-consuming bother/inconvenience that generates complaints and bad reputation.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Much of Wrangler complaints are top leak related. If there was a fixed-roof model of the Wrangler the complaint ratio would probably decrease greatly.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The 200 and Dart are beautiful, in my opinion.

      The 200 is burdened with a too-small back seat, but it has a huge trunk. And it has the awful 9-speed automatic.

      The Dart – well, only the latest 2.4L/6A drivetrain is halfway decent.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That’s not how you spell exaggerated!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow I just read the disclaimer…

    Prices slightly higher in Alaska, Hawaii, & Puerto Rico – may not be valid during a full moon – sales indexed to the price of Sergio’s sweaters – vaya con dios, Y’all.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I like their disclaimers on their radio ads.

      Jeep is most awarded SUV brand!
      Cherokee is most awarded SUV!

      *Jeep is categorized as SUV brand by FCA. There are no other SUV brands.
      *Awards include all macaroni and paper plate awards created by children.
      *All models of Cherokee count as Cherokee.

      In all seriousness though, I think Jeep and Land Rover are the only brands which can count as “SUV brands,” and we all know LR ain’t winning no awards.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    The days of Lee Iacocca seem like a fairy tale in comparison to the BS being spouted by this regime. That they are willing to call the development of the Dart and the 200 as sunk costs says all about their acumen in the American market. Jeep is just a happy accident that Sergio tries to take credit for. These guys are rubes reading their own headlines. This will not end well.

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