January Auto Sales: Big 3 Report Mixed Sales Results

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FCA US posted a sales gain of 7 percent in January when compared to January 2015, while sales of General Motors Co. vehicles remained relatively flat and Ford Motor Co. sales dropped nearly 3 percent for the month, due in part to winter storms across the East Coast that hit at the end of the month.

FCA US today reported U.S. sales in January (155,037 units) when compared year over year, marking the group's best January sales in nine years.

"Mother Nature was no match for our Jeep brand last month as we recorded our best January Jeep sales ever," says Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for FCA. "Overall, FCA US achieved its best January sales in nine years and our 70th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases."

Bigland says the Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in January compared to January 2015. He says Dodge's 19 percent increase in sales was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand during the month.

Nine FCA US vehicles set records in the month of January, including the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Patriot, and Jeep Compass; the Dodge Journey crossover, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Charger; and the Ram pickup truck, Ram ProMaster, and Ram ProMaster City.

Chrysler brand sales were down 22 percent in January compared to January 2015, while Fiat brand sales were down 20 percent compared year over year.

GM sales remained relatively flat in January (203,745 units), increasing by .5 percent compared to January 2015.

"GM began 2016 in very strong competitive position," says Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations at GM. "We built on that momentum in January, with Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC outperforming the retail industry by a wide margin. In fact, Chevrolet continues to grow faster than any other full-line brand."

McNeil says Chevrolet sales decreased by nearly 4 percent in January when compared year over year, while Cadillac sales dropped by 8 percent compared to January 2015. GMC sales rose by nearly 4 percent in January when compared year over year, and Buick sales increased by nearly 46 percent. Buick had its best January sales month since 2004.

Ford U.S. sales declined 3 percent in January (173,723 units) when compared to the same month last year.

"For Ford, overall transaction prices were up $1,800 in January — almost three times more than the overall industry average — driven largely by strong customer demand, especially for our SUVs and F-Series pickups," says Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service at Ford. 

LaNeve says the Lincoln brand saw an 8-percent increase in sales in January when compared year over year. He says Ford SUV sales increased by 3 percent last month when compared to January 2015.

Transit sales increased by more than 50 percent in January compared to the same month last year, while sales of F-Series vehicles were down 5 percent in January compared year over year.

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