Chrysler Group reported today its strongest January sales since 2008, while General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. both recorded decreases when compared to the same monthly period in 2013.
While Ford attributed its 7 percent year-over-year decrease to difficult weather in its largest sales regions, Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, said “the bad weather only seemed to affect our competitors’ stores as we had a great January with sales up 8 percent…”
Chrysler reported U.S. sales of 127,183 units, setting January sales records for the Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler, and Chrysler 200. With sales up 47 percent, the Dodge Grand Caravan recorded the largest percentage increase of any Chrysler Group vehicle for the month, and the Ram pickup truck had its best January sales in 10 years.
Ford’s sales of 154,644 vehicles were down 7 percent last month, although Ford Mustang and Lincoln brand vehicles both posted gains. Mustang totaled 3,881 sales in January, up 8 percent over last year, while Lincoln sales grew by 43 percent, with 5,973 vehicles sold in January.
“In areas where the weather was good, such as in the West, sales were up,” says John Felice, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service. “The poor weather also had an impact on the timing of some of our fleet deliveries. A bright spot is Lincoln, which had its strongest sales in four years.”
Supporting the brand’s sales growth were the Lincoln MKZ, up 368 percent, and Lincoln MKX, up 36 percent.
General Motors dealers delivered 171,486 vehicles last month, showing a 12 percent year-over-year decrease. Retail sales were down 10 percent, and fleet deliveries declined 18 percent due to a planned reduction in rental vehicle sales.
Like Ford, GM attributed its low sales to extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest, and Northeast, but expressed optimism regarding the upcoming months.
“We have major launches underway and we are going to accelerate brand-building and other growth initiatives,” says Kurt McNeil, vice president of sales operations for GM in the U.S., including plans to sell more pickup trucks with larger cabs, more features, and advanced technology.
Despite the overall decrease, the Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac SRX had their highest-ever January sales this year.
The following automakers reported the following for January:
- Ford: -7.5 percent
- GM: -12 percent
- Chrysler: +8 percent
- Toyota: -7.2 percent
- Nissan: +11.8 percent
- Subaru: +19 percent
- Volkswagen: -19 percent