Along with GM and Ford, Chrysler fared worse than total market. When analysts predicted strong sales after hurricane Sandy, Chrysler’s positive growth was not enough to compensate the decrease of its market share to the lowest level so far this year, and even worse than November/11’s. Total market is up a healthy 15% and Chrysler Group (Fiat included, Ferrari and Maserati excluded), is up 14.4%. The group did not perform as expected (bad results of Dodge Dart is part of it), so its market share fell to 10.7%, from 11.6% in October and 10.8% in November 2011. However in terms of volume, last month was the best November for Chrysler since 2007 when 161.088 units were sold. In November 2012 Chrysler brand, Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Fiat sold 122.565 units combined, which is almost twice what the group sold in November 2009 when financial crisis started. As usual, the group did better than GM and Ford which are up as well but in the case of GM, affected by lower sales of its trucks. Big rises come from foreign brands such as Honda which is just 6 thousand units behind Chrysler. VW Group had a wonderful month with almost 53.000 cars delivered, up 30.5%. Chrysler Group continues to perform well but the acceleration of previous months has began to slow down, as buyers wait for more new cars. Detroit 2013 will be the place for the presentation of the new models (Chrysler 100 and new 200, the restyling of Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2013 Ram) that must help the company to maintain or rise its market share. Marchionne wants more as the goal of Fiat-Chrysler is to reach 13% of the market by the year 2014. It is why Chrysler just announced to give $1.000 discount on every Chrysler/Fiat product for those VW owners.
Wonderful results from Dodge, Ram and Fiat. Dodge managed to rise its sales with its old products as the new Dart disappoints. It was the 8th best-selling brand in the US, and was the second best performer among top 10 brands, after Honda. The Caravan, which counted for 21% of Dodge’s sales, is up a massive 42%. But the pole position was occupied by the Journey, up 77%! Though it is a new product, the Dart did not have a big effect on Dodge’s results. Its arrival to the brand’s sum has not had the effect analysts expected. Actually the brand increased its sales figures thanks to traditional models. In September, the Dart counted for 11% of Dodge’s sales. One month later, when the Dart reached its top, the model represented 13.4% of total sales. Last month the new car occupied 11.2% of the total. In other words the new sedan is not helping Dodge to rise its sales. A reason for this bad performance is the fact that at the moment the Dart is only available with manual transmission gearbox. It is expected the automatic transmission soon as most of American drivers prefer it. Ram sold more than 25.00o units of its Pickups and cargo van, up 23%. It means that the Ram Pickup was again the best performer of top 3 American trucks, up 23% vs. 18% for Ford F-150 and -10% for Chevrolet Silverado. On this point, GM executives said that they were worried about the fall on sales of their trucks (Silverado and Sierra) as a consequence of the big discounts offered by Ford and Chrysler. If it is true it would be nice to know the margin of each model. Jeep falls for the second month in a row. Jeep was among top 10 best-selling brands, but it was also the worst performer along with Chevrolet. However Jeep sold more than 5 thousand SUV more than its immediate rival, GMC. The Grand Cherokee seems to have reached its top, as it does not perform well since October. Instead, the Wrangler did better (as usual). The lack of competitive products for C and D-SUV segments is already affecting Jeep’s performance, as it only depends on two models. Then comes Chrysler that sold almost 200 units more than one year ago. It happened because the fall of 200 model was as big as the 300 model and Town & Country rises. Fiat continues to grow but its numbers are not as good as they were in summer period (it is now far away from Mini figures).
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Although initially launched with a manual only, the Dart has been available with an automatic gearbox since August.
The Dart is currently priced quite high compared with competitors and discounts have just begun in line with the competition. Also the Dart faces a lot of friendly fire from the Avenger and the Chrysler 200 which are V6
V6 engined cars that are bigger, that are trading at the same price as the Dart and with more equipment.
Thanks for your explanation Steve. I thought the car had interesting prices (starts at $16k), but it seems price strategy must be changed in order not to compete with the larger Avenger. The 200 is part of the same segment, so naturally they have similar prices and features.
Juan Felipe allpar.com forums give a good insight into what’s happening with the Dart and America in general.
Thanks Steve. I’ll check it
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