FCA US sales fall, Wagoneer debuts, Canadian sales better (not April Fools)

FCA US reported their first quarter sales with surprising speed, issuing them on April Fool’s Day—but they are real. Total sales fell by 14%, largely on supply constraints, from 469,651 for January-March 2021 to 405,221 for January-March 2022. Retail sales fell by 13%, slightly better than the fall in fleet sales.

Electrifying news. The Wrangler 4xe did quite well, accounting for 18% of Wrangler sales (8,346 total, over three months), with its combination of V8 acceleration and V6 economy coming from a four-cylinder turbo with electric boost. The Pacifica Hybrid accounted for 16% of Pacifica sales, with 4,164 total Pacificas (including the  Voyager).

Jeep Grand Cherokee had its best-ever first-quarter sales (both retail and total); retail sales shot up by 44% while total sales rose by 36%. Some reasons for this may include having a long wheelbase version, and selling both new and old versions at once; being available during a shortage doesn’t hurt.

The ProMaster’s record retail sales (up 27%) may be partly due to Amazon purchases—or ordinary buyers seeing where Amazon placed its confidence and ordering accordingly. Commercial sales of the ProMaster also rose by 7%, though total sales fell by 14%.

The only gains in a shortage-of-cars quarter were held by the Grand Cherokee, as noted; Compass (up 22%), Chrysler 200 (two leftovers were dug up and sold) and Fiat 500X. The Fiat likely did well given the shortage of cars in its class, but perhaps this well help with word of mouth sales. The other Fiats were all discontinued, so it is not surprising that sales fell overall—from 815 to 340 cars. At Alfa Romeo, sales dropped by 29%, with the Giulia taking a special hit.

At Jeep, the main shortfall was with the Cherokee, whose plant has been down quite a bit of the time; a new 2-liter turbo model may help, if they can produce them. Sales of Cherokee were down by 73%, but there was a less popular Jeep, namely the Renegade. This fell by 38%.

All-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III
All-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III

Wagoneering. The new Jeep Wagoneer sold quite well given its extremely premium pricing; 7,055 Wagoneers and 3,169 Grand Wagoneers found new homes. Keeping the owners of these costly cars happy will be key to their future sales. Overall, Jeep did quite well in terms of sales going to the most costly (and presumably profitable) vehicles; the Grand Cherokee was the sales leader and the Wrangler came in as #2, albeit 10,000 cars/month behind the Grand. Wrangler sales only fell by 8% and Gladiator by just 5%.  (Durango, the former long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee, fell by 30%.)

Over at Ram, the company does not differentiate between all the pickups and chassis cabs; those together dropped by 15%. ProMaster City dropped by 47% to just 1,709 units, so small it was outsold by the Stelvio.

Chrysler sold 26,366 Pacificas, again being hurt by supply issues, but also by the new standards-hybrid Toyota Sienna, which will be tough to beat. The 300 dropped by 49%, and that may not all be supply. Chrysler has been acting like the 300 is being wound down. The Charger fell by 22% and the Challenger by 26%, suggesting choices being made.

The rest of the cars were pretty much carryovers, no longer made; in Q1 2021, Dodge sold 6,880 Journeys and 1,709 Caravans. This quarter, it was 111 and 18, with only leftovers on the lots.

Canadian sales. Canadian sales fell by just 8%, from 46,077 to 42,587. Jeep rose by 11%, with 514 Grand Wagoneers sold (Wagoneer was not reported separately). Grand Cherokee sales fell by 38%, or 1705 vehicles; but the Grand Cherokee L saved the day with 2,173 sales. (These likely came at the cost of Durango sales, which were down by 19%.)

Chrysler rose by 54% in Canada; the 300 rose by 3% to 253, but the real action was with the Pacifica, up 50% to 2,154, and Chrysler Grand Caravan (US Voyager), up 79% to 1,220. Naming the Pacifica’s cheap version “Voyager” in the US had little effect, but it seems to worth north of the border.

Dodge sales fell by 49%, largely due to the loss of 3,396 Caravans sold last first quarter. Charger sales rose by 85% and Challenger sales rose by 27%.

Ram pickup sales dropped by 15% and ProMaster dropped by 42%; ProMaster City sales tripled, hitting 205.

Alfa Romeo saw a 14% increase to 197 cars, with Giulia falling and Stelvio gaining, while Fiat dropped 72% to just 9 sales in the country over three months, six of them in March—eight 500Xs and one 124.

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