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Why Chrysler's November sales ought to make your jaw drop

December 3, 2014

Stunning.

I don’t know how else to describe it, and it’s an adjective I don’t use lightly.


How else could you describe the breadth and depth of the remarkable sales wave that Chrysler Group’s U.S. dealerships experienced in November? Especially in a month where gains from other automakers were so much smaller?

Dismiss for a moment the top line descriptor that normally describes an automaker’s sales month. Chrysler’s 20-percent advance in November certainly stuck out like a sore thumb from the much smaller numbers -- gains and losses -- posted by other automakers.

That number just doesn’t put what happened into context. Consider these numbers instead.

• 50.2: Of the 57,466 total additional new vehicles sold in the U.S. in November over the previous year, over half -- 28,884 or 50.2 percent -- were sold in a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealership.

• 11: Chrysler has 21 cars, pickups, vans, crossovers and SUVs in its lineup. In November, 11 of them set sales records, including three vehicles that had their best ever monthly sales. That means that what’s going on at Chrysler dealerships is deeper than just consumers clamoring for Jeeps and Rams.

• 13.1: That was Chrysler Group’s monthly market share (excluding Maserati and Ferrari). It’s was slightly higher than it’s been averaging all year, but a full 1.5 percentage points higher than its share averaged during 2013.

• 40,274: That is the number of vehicles based on Fiat’s CUSW platform that Chrysler Group sold in the U.S. last month. The Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart -- which share the single Compact U.S. Wide or CUSW platform -- all generated record sales for November. This might be the most important of all of Chrysler’s sales numbers for its corporate parent.

• 6: That’s the number of Chrysler’s brands -- otherwise known as all of ‘em -- whose sales rose last month. That’s the first time that’s happened since July.

For longtime watchers, the energy going on in Chrysler Group showrooms right now hasn’t happened since the mid 1990s, and maybe not even then. It is nothing short of remarkable.

Don’t get me wrong: Chrysler still has plenty of problems to deal with, and one of the problems getting steadily bigger is how it’s going to keep up with the pace of demand, especially for its most profitable vehicles.

But sometimes you have to just stop for a second and marvel at what’s going on.

Because frankly, it’s stunning.
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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter #2
FCA’s CMO says reshaped brands led to US sales growing 56 consecutive months

12/11/2014

While the US auto industry has been in a spectacular shape this year, there’s one automaker that actually didn’t depend too much on the market trends and made its own way – Fiat Chrysler.

Although named today Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, we should be thorough and say that it’s the Chrysler Group LLC subsidiary responsible for the incredible 56 months streak of year-over-year gains. And CMO Olivier Francois says the company managed to shed dependence of the overall dynamics of the US auto market by pushing ahead with the individual strengths of each brand. “We were very much action and delivery-driven,” comments the executive. “We’re trying to shape each brand’s DNA and products.”

And, after climbing sales in the beginning with a noteworthy paucity of new models, the consolidated Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has started pouring the much-needed products that would support long-term growth. US buyers can now choose from the redesigned Chrysler 200 sedan, best-selling Jeep Cherokee, a new version of the Ram pickup truck, or the soon to arrive fashionable Fiat 500x small crossover. There are also brand icons in the making – such as the Dodge SRT Hellcat models. The team led by Francois even came up with catchphrases that could to an extent personify each brand: Chrysler is “pricing power,” Dodge is “purification,” Jeep is “global,” Ram is the “challenger,” Fiat stands for “growth” and Alfa Romeo is the one brand “seeding”.


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