Jim Morrison talks about the venerable brand on this “Autoline After Hours”
The numbers are notable.
Through the first three quarters of 2021 Jeep sold 604,671 vehicles in the U.S.
That makes it, by far, the most important brand within the Stellantis U.S. group.
While everyone knows that pickup trucks are driving the market in a big way, Jeep handily outsold Ram brand, which had sales of 495,410 units.
Of course, in terms of product offerings Ram pretty much has the Ram pickup variants, which accounted for 434,772 of the sales. The ProMaster Van and the ProMaster City account for the rest.
In the case of Jeep, there are the Wrangler (164,710) and the Grand Cherokee (189,727). Having two popular models is certainly beneficial.
And as for the other brands—Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Alfa Romeo—realize that all in for the first three quarters the entire group had sales of 1,365,881.
Jeep and Ram combined account for 1,100,081 units, so you can figure how the others did.
Jim Morrison is vice president, Jeep Brand North America. On this edition of “Autoline After Hours” he talks with “Autoline’s” John McElroy, Mike Austin of Hemmings and me about where the brand is and where it is going.
The importance of having some solid nameplates is something that they’re taking into account which is leading to an expansion of offerings.
For example, the fifth generation Grand Cherokee is now also available as the 4xe (plug-in hybrid) and Grand Cherokee L (a three-row vehicle).
In addition, this year Jeep has also launched the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The Grand Wagoneer starts at $86,995. It is not only the most sumptuous Jeep, but what is important to note is that it is still a Jeep: the engineers didn’t forget capability when developing the vehicle.
Morrison talks about those vehicles, as well as about the influx of competition that Jeep is now facing, such as with the Ford Bronco and the GMC HUMMER.
He thinks that what is going to happen is that the entire segment is going to grow as people begin to think more and more about vacations that put them behind the wheel of a vehicle and not strapped into a seat on an airplane, and that an increasing number of those vacation trips will be out in the wilds, a place where Jeeps excel.
Morrison also thinks that Jeep will maintain its share of the market, not lose it to the other companies.
He also talks about whether there could be fully battery electric Jeeps, and while he is cautious about talking future product, he does make an interesting statement that encompasses Jeep:
“We don’t care what puts power to the ground. We just want to do it better than anyone else.”
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the British automotive trade association, this past July the UK vehicle production number was 53,438.
In July 2020—when the pandemic was still shockingly smacking every economy everywhere—the number of vehicles produced was 85,696.
Which means that production has declined 37.6%.
Now maybe it was just something to do with the month of July.
SMMT points to the shortage of chips. The contact tracing system that is in place in the UK (leading to many people getting alerts on their phones about contact, something called the “pingdemic”), and some companies just shutting down for a break to accommodate supply change changes.
The good news in all of this is that the production numbers year-to-date in 2021 are 18.3% higher than they were in 2020.
That said, it is clear that there are still challenges being faced in the UK auto industry, which, according to the SMMT, accounts for 12.8% of all UK exports and directly employs some 168,00 people.
Which means it is non-trivially important to the overall UK economy.
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive see solid figures for June ’21 sales
By Gary S. Vasilash
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive have come out with their prediction for how June 2021 sales will come in, and the prediction is that it will be a 12.4% increase over June 2020—which isn’t all that surprising, given that in June 2020 we were still in the midst of the pandemic—and even a smidge, as in 0.3%, better than June 2019 (taking into account available selling days).
However, looking at the second quarter of 2021 in its entirety, things are rather robust, as in a 44.2% increase over Q2 2020 and a 10.7% increase over Q2 2019.
But there are some other figures that need to be taken into account.
One of those numbers is $38,088. That’s the average price of a new vehicle, which is a first half record according to the two organizations. It is a 10.1% (or $3,497) rise compared to the same period in 2019 and a 14.1% (or $4,699) increase over the number in 2019.
The average transaction price—as in what people actually pay for a vehicle from a dealer—is expected to be $40,206, a record high.
The organizations see retailer profits rise from $1,310 in the first half of 2020 and $1,457 in the first half of 2019 to $2,844.
Explains Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, “Consumers are buying more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, which is dramatically increasing the profitability of those sales for both manufacturers and retailers.”
Although there is evident agitation on behalf of some of an economic bent regarding the rise in inflation, recognize that here are consumers who are buying big, which means that OEMs are going to make more expensive vehicles because they’re selling, which means that there will be a continued rise. . .
Yes, they are selling in the U.S. and Canada in great numbers, but the Mexican market still likes cars, LMC finds
By Gary S. Vasilash
Although SUVs (yes, including crossovers under that omnibus name) continue to proliferate in the U.S. and Canadian markets, turns out that things aren’t quite the same in the other USMCA country, Mexico.
According to LMC Automotive, while SUV sales surpassed those of cars in Canada in 2015 and in the U.S. in 2016, in 2020 cars outsold SUVs in Mexico. And not just by a little.
The LMC data show that cars outsold SUVs by more than 2:1.
That said, there is growth in SUV sales in Mexico notes LMC Americas Vehicle Sales Forecasts analyst David Oakley, but there is an issue: “The overarching obstacle is cost, with SUVs still carrying a larger price tag than many high volume cars.”
Complicating matters for Mexican consumers is the fact that Ford and Chevrolet have pretty much given up on cars, about which Oakley says, “these brands seem to have jumped the gun with regard to Mexico’s readiness for such a shift.”
Although it is estimated that cars and SUVs will reach parity in sales by 2030 in Mexico, there are still several years of sales between now and then, sales that will probably go to brands like Hyundai and Nissan.
If there is any company that really needs its next launch to go off well it is Mitsubishi Motors North America. The vehicle in question is the 2022 Outlander, an SUV.
For 2020 its sales were down in the U.S. by 28%–a big hit to any company—but what makes matters worse, the total number is just 87,387, or about the number of Lincoln SUVs sold in 2020 (87,893)—and let’s face it, Lincoln SUVs have better margins than the Mitsubishi models so the Mitsubishi number is less good than it might be. (Or to be more apples-to-apples, Ford sold 178,496 Escapes in 2020.)
The Outlander has a lot riding on it.
As there seems to be a growing interest in vehicles with off-road cred, Mitsubishi is in good shape given its experience in rally racing, including the Dakar. Kentaro Honda, segment chief vehicle engineer, said of the new Outlander, “We took everything we know about on- and off-road driving from the rally experiences to apply the latest Super All-Wheel Control technology in our newly developed platform. We also specifically developed a new drive mode selector to provide confident driving at all times and in all weather conditions. We hope that many customers will have great experiences with the enhanced driving performance of the all-new Outlander.”
Presumably, this means the vehicle will be off-road worthy—and yet make it simple enough for the likely intended buyer (think someone living in the snowbelt—but in the suburbs, not some mountain top) to be able to dial-in what’s needed without having had a training course at Moab.
To address that demographic, the global reveal will occur on Amazon Live, Tuesday, February 16 at 6 p.m. EST.
Despite the venue, you cannot get a 2022 Outlander through Amazon Prime.
(Although I’m betting that in the not-too-distant future, Amazon will someone work its way around dealer franchise laws and. . .)