FCA US, Canada sales drops: 2021 shortages vs 2020 COVID

The US and Canadian branches of Stellantis saw sales drops, comparing their shortage-prone 2021 figures with the COVID-affected numbers of 2020.

The good news in the US was, not unexpectedly, largely in Jeep and Ram; Grand Cherokee saw retail sales shoot up by 47%, with total sales up 45%, in the third quarter. It was the best third-quarter ever for the Gladiator, though retail sales only rose by 3%. The ProMaster, driven only partly by Amazon, saw sales rise by 26%; home-built RV popularity may have driven its best third quarter ever, for retail sales. Meanwhile, the Dodge Durango, which many fear will be departing sooner than it really will, had its best year-to-date retail sales since 2005.

But let’s look at totals, where we see third quarter sales falling from 507,351 in 2020 to just 410,917 in 2021. Fleet sales were 15% of the total; retail sales were 348,084.

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USA

The red ink was spread around every division, with Fiat hit hardest—a 64% drop to already minimal numbers, with a total of 401 sales across four nameplates. All dropped by at least 31%. Alfa only had a 10% drop, to 4,529, with the Stelvio down least (4,529 sales, down 5%). At Dodge, the real culprit was the loss of the Journey and Caravan, which caused the loss of around 9,100 and 5,800 sales, respectively. The other models dropped a bit (14% Challenger, 18% Charger, 9% Durango); Charger was the best seller, with 19,395 sales, followed by Durango, with 14,516. People like four doors, it seems; but the Challenger still hit 13,994 for the quarter.

Over at Ram, the ProMaster was the only vehicle to really do well, with the pickups dropping by 22% to 121,704. The ProMaster just gained some dramatic interior and technology upgrades.

Jeep, by far FCA US’ largest seller, dropped by 11%, largely due to losses with the Cherokee—down a stunning 72%, from 40,981 to 11,592. This was, in turn, largely due to the plant shutdowns, which were allegedly driven by the Cherokee’s relatively low profitability—perhaps. In any case, the Grand Cherokee leaped up by 45%, to 81,704 sales. Given a choice between the two, Jeep would likely prefer the pricier Grand to do well.

The Compass, despite some nice upgrades, fell by 19%; Wrangler by 15%; Renegade by 44%. Much of this was due to supply.

Finally, buyers snapped up 90 Grand Wagoneers, with 392 engines standard, and 42 Wagoneers.

Canada

In Canada, sales dropped from 54,399 down to 35,717, a stunning 34% loss driven largely by the loss of the Dodge Caravan. The cheap Dodge minivan had 6,067 sales in Q3-2020, while the Chrysler Caravan had just 1,129 sales in Q3-2021 (leftover Dodges saw 357 sales). There is the outstanding question, though, of whether the problem is the change in label, the change in price, or just not having vans to sell, with Windsor shut down for much of the quarter.

 

More worrying was the loss of Ram sales, with the pickup falling by a stunning 45% (14% for the year). Canadians bought fewer ProMasters, too.

The red ink was spread around brands in Canada, with massive losses at Dodge—down 76%, though, really, Canadian Dodge sales are almost entirely minivans and Durangos, and the Durango actually gained by 19% to 958 sales, making it the sales leader by a factor of over 2:1. The next biggest sellers were leftover Caravans; then we’re down to Challenger (275, down 42%) and Charger (231, up 20%). The Pacifica faired better, doubling sales, but only from 772 to 1,597, not compensating for Caravan losses; and only 79 300s were sold (down 18%).

Jeep saw a 19% gain in the Compass and 15% in Grand Cherokee; the best seller was by far the Grand Cherokee, with 5,353 sold, followed by Wrangler (down 32%) with 4,788 sold. Alfa Romeo gained 4%, to a total 244 sales, with the Stelvio up 14%; Fiat’s four nameplates counted up 13 sales in total, most of them Fiat 124s.

 

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

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