Now They Tell Us: Chrysler 200 Sales Were Falling Faster Than FCA First Let On

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
now they tell us chrysler 200 sales were falling faster than fca first let on

After an attractive design, all-wheel-drive availability, a powerful V6 (and incentives) powered the Chrysler 200 to 16 consecutive months of improved U.S. sales through October 2015, demand for the midsize 200 suddenly dried up.

During that 16-month stretch between July 2014 and October 2015, sales of the 200 jumped 72 percent, an increase of more than 6,000 sales per month for the Sebring’s replacement. But between November of last year and January 2016, U.S. sales of the 200 were essentially chopped in half.

As a result, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles skipped quickly from a temporary shutdown at the 200’s Sterling Heights assembly plant, to a prolonged shutdown, to an announcement that the 200 and its Dodge Dart cousin would be gradually wound down. It wasn’t so gradual: Dart production is about to end and 200 production will be over before year’s end.

Coinciding with these sedan cancellations, FCA also mired itself in a sales fixing scandal. FCA now claims in 2011, 2014, and 2015, the company was under-reporting real total sales volume, FCA also clarified that sales through the first-half of 2016 were 7,450 units lower than the company first announced.

Though lacking specific monthly data for the early part of this year, we now know which brands and models were the key offenders with July figures in hand. No drum roll required.

Chrysler 200 sales volume in early 2016 was even lower than we thought. Indeed, no FCA model’s sales figures were more overstated than those of the Chrysler 200.

The June/first-half sales report issued by FCA on July 1, 2016 claimed a 61.5-percent drop to 40,981 sales of the Chrysler 200.

In truth, FCA’s July/seven-month sales report now makes clear that sales of the 200 totalled only 36,202 units in the first six months of 2016. Assuming accuracy from FCA’s sales reports in the first-half of 2015, this means U.S. sales of the 200 were down by fully two-thirds, tumbling 66 percent, year-over-year.

The next-worst offender on FCA’s list was another Chrysler — the Town & Country minivan. In a Pacifica-infused replacement phase now, sales of the Town & Country were actually 3,963 units lower between January and June than FCA initially claimed.

The Jeep Patriot, Jeep Cherokee, Fiat 500X, and Dodge Dart owned sales figures that FCA over-reported by an average of 1,727 units, or nearly 300 fake sales per month. Also over-reported were sales of the Alfa Romeo 4C, Fiat 500L, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Durango, Fiat 500, Dodge Challenger, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Ram pickup line.

On the other side of the ledger, there were many vehicles that produced more retail and fleet sales than FCA first thought. (This explains why the company is looking into the errors.) FCA’s latest figures show that U.S. sales of the Dodge Charger in the first-half of 2016 were 2,579 units higher than the company reported on July 1. Dodge Grand Caravan and Jeep Compass volume was under-reported by nearly as much.

In fact, a look at FCA’s corrected July figures show that January-June sales of the Charger, Grand Caravan, Compass, and Ram ProMaster were under-reported by 369 units per month, per model.

Of course, the Chrysler 200 takes the cake. FCA wasn’t selling 23,228 per quarter in early 2016. FCA was actually selling 20,838 Chrysler 200s per quarter.

We knew the Chrysler 200 was flopping. We didn’t know the splash created by that belly flop was this expansive.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, 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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  • WV Cycling WV Cycling on Aug 04, 2016

    My nurses have three Compasses as fleet vehicles to dispense medications to homebound patients. I drove one to the next city before and was non-stop griping about the seats, shifter, and overall lack of quality. But hey, isn't it like the cheapest JEEP?

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Aug 04, 2016

    When sales of the 200 were flying high for the 1st half of 2015 - some of that was due to buyers coming over from the canceled Dodge Avenger and some of it was massive fleet sales (reported to be around 50% to fleet).

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.