Record Jeep volume and resurgent minivans helped Fiat Chrysler squeak out a 1.1 percent U.S. sales gain in May, despite two fewer selling days from the same month a year ago.
The automaker said it sold 204,452 vehicles in the U.S. in May, its 74th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
Jeep hit an all-time monthly sales record in May, topping 90,000 for the first time in its 75-year history. Sales of the Compass and Renegade more than doubled, while sales of the Patriot rose 19 percent.
Minivan sales also climbed sharply in May for FCA from a year ago, when the company’s minivan plant was just returning to production after a 100-day shutdown to retool for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Dodge Grand Caravan sales were up 76 percent last month, while Chrysler Town & Country sales rose 49 percent from a year ago. Sales of the Pacifica rose to 2,495 in its second month on the market as its rollout to U.S. dealerships continues.
“Notwithstanding a challenging calendar, we managed to muscle our way to our strongest May sales in over 10 years,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales, said in a written statement. “Initial sales of our all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan are brisk, and we expect further sales growth from this vehicle over the next few months as dealer inventory continues to build.”
Indeed, a calendar with two fewer selling days stung many of FCA’s brands.
Ram sales climbed just 15 units nationally over May 2015, despite record May sales from the ProMaster and ProMaster City commercial vans.
Dodge sales fell 5.4 percent despite the Grand Caravan bump and single-digit increases from the Charger and Durango. Sales of the Dart, Journey and Challenger fell by double digits in the month.
FCA’s eponymous brands, Fiat and Chrysler, both slid 19 percent in May. Chrysler’s decline was entirely on a 12,407-unit fall in sales of the Chrysler 200 sedan, despite gains from the Chrysler 300 and the discontinued Town & Country. Meanwhile, increased sales of the Fiat 500X crossover couldn’t offset steep declines from the 500 minicar and the 500L.
FCA said it ended the month with 602,064 unsold vehicles on hand, a 71-day supply.