The sales reporting process may have changed for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but its July results still show Jeep as the automaker’s collective trail guide
Buoyed by a 5% increase in Jeep sales for the month, FCA eeked out a .3% July sales jump - the only one of Detroit’s Big 3 automakers to see black numbers for the month.
Ram also ended its month with a 5% increase over July 2015, but no other FCA division was able to post positive numbers.
Overall, the Jeep Renegade (57%) had a booming month for FCA, while Compass (31%), Patriot (11%), and Grand Cherokee (3%) finished strong as well. The Wrangler saw a 5% July decrease, but still sold more than any other FCA product except Ram Pickup. Wrangler still leads the Jeep brand in total 2016 year to date sales with just over 119,000.
FCA said its July US retail sales slipped slightly – down 2% for the month – to 180,727 vehicles, but a strong 22% jump in fleet sales pushed the brand to its monthly sales increase. The automaker is currently about 4% up for the year thanks to Jeep’s company-best 14% increase.
July is FCA’s first month announcing sales figures under its new reporting criteria.
FCA said in a statement last week it was revising its monthly sales reporting practice, after auditing sales numbers back through January 2011. During this time, FCA said it actually sold nearly 19,000 more vehicles that it initially reported, but saw a sales decline during three months that were first reported as positive.
While FCA reported an increase for July, soft numbers from Ford (down 3%) and General Motors (down 1.9%), as well as lower numbers from other automakers, reflect a growing concern among analysts that the domestic market may be running low on sales ‘gas’.
“The new-car market currently appears to be reaching its peak in terms of sales, and now there is a better chance that 2016 won’t be another record year, as year-over-year comparisons for the remainder of 2016 will be tough,” Kelley Blue Book analyst Tim Fleming said in a statement.
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