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Pacifica sales up last month, but Caravan takes major sales hit in the U.S

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:02 pm

September sales in the U.S. for the Windsor-built Chrysler Pacifica were good, but Fiat Chrysler saw a 10 per cent decrease in monthly vehicle sales compared to 2016.

U.S. sales for the Pacifica were up 18 per cent last month over the same month last year. But the Dodge Grand Caravan took a huge hit, with a decrease in September sales of 62 per cent compared to 2016.

Asked about the decrease in Caravan sales, Fiat Chrysler Canada spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said the production of the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan for the U.S. market was to be temporarily suspended from September to November at the Windsor Assembly Plant to address U.S. regulatory actions.

In Canada, FCA sold 18,444 vehicles in September, down six per cent from the same month last year. Sales for both the Pacifica and Caravan were down slightly for the month.

Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen all posted strong monthly U.S. sales numbers, confirming expectations that a boost in sales from hurricane-ravaged Texas would push the industry to a September rebound.

GM reported on Tuesday that sales rose 11.9 per cent, while Ford sales rose 8.7 per cent. Toyota posted a 14.9 per cent increase, while Nissan sales were up 9.5 per cent and Honda sales rose 6.8 per cent. Volkswagen said its sales rose 33.2 per cent over numbers that were depressed a year ago by its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Only Fiat Chrysler reported a sales decline. The Italian-American automaker posted a 10 per cent drop on what it said was a planned reduction of sales to rental car companies

Industry analysts had predicted a strong month due to Labour Day weekend deals and a small boost from owners replacing cars damaged by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. The auto website expects overall sales to rise 0.4 per cent from last year, but early indications pointed to a stronger increase.

Overall industry sales fell 2.7 per cent through the first eight months of the year and were off 1.9 per cent in August as hurricane Harvey battered Texas. Then in September, Irma hit Florida, where many dealerships were forced to close for a week or longer due to lack of electric power.

Ford gained 5,000 to 6,000 sales from replacement of flooded cars in the Houston area, where it offered employee pricing. But it lost about 1,000 in Florida due to closed dealerships, vice-president of sales and marketing Mark LaNeve said on a conference call. He expects industry sales to get a boost through the rest of the year from cars being replaced due to hurricane damage. ... in-the-u-s

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