The Public Has Spoken – The New JL Is a Hit and FCA Is On a Roll.

The very first JL’s hit showrooms in January, official sales numbers for the last two months show what has been expected. The new JL and updated SUV’s are driving record sales at FCA. The RAM brand and car sales are flat or declining and the JL is now the second best selling vehicle in the entire line up.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced at the end of April that the new Wrangler sales jumped 58 percent during the month. That’s the best monthly performance ever and second straight month of record gains. Instead of posting a 1-4 percent drop FCA posted a 5 percent year over year growth.

“Jeep is back in the game,” Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs said in a press release. “The brand’s painful transition of its products in 2017 is paying off big time this year, with the Jeep Wrangler – setting a monthly sales record – leading the charge.”

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced back in 2016 that the company would discontinue most of its passenger car line in order to focus on higher profit SUV and truck vehicles. This caused over a year long slump in total sales as those cars were phased out, but now it appears to be over as back-to-back strong months have propelled FCA into positive territory for 2018.

In all, Wrangler sold 29,776 vehicles during the month as more and more 2018 Wrangler JL vehicles reached dealer lots. While FCA does not break Wrangler numbers down into specific model types, this recent sales success implies the next generation JL Wrangler is definitely a customer favorite. Not to mention a profitable one for FCA as well.

With just over 85k Wranglers sold this year – versus 60k at this point last year the Wrangler is becoming quite the sales leader. Hopefully other makers will take notice and bring some competition to the segment.

The Jeep brand jumped 20 percent overall against April 2017 numbers. The new Compass model posted a mind-bottling 227 percent increase with 11,521 vehicles sold. The Cherokee finished in th a 20 percent increase vs. last April.

The Grand Cherokee model fell 12 percent and is now starting to become recurring negative theme for FCA. The high-profit Grand Cherokee had been there sales stalwart keeping things positive during months of slow sales. The guess here is that the newer models are cutting into the Grand Cherokee sales.

Overall, FCA sold 184,149 vehicles in April. That leaves FCA in positive sales territory for 2018 – up 2 percent from last year. We will be looking forward to May’s numbers in the coming days to see is this trend has continued.

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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