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    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports September 2017 Sales
      FCA US retail sales up year over year in September, compared with same month a year ago Jeep brand and Ram Truck brand retail sales up year over year Jeep® Compass sales up 75 percent; best sales month ever Jeep Renegade, Chrysler Pacifica, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City each post best September sales ever Dodge Durango sales increase 45 percent; best September sales since 2005 A 41 percent year-over-year decline in fleet sales is in line with the FCA US strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment October 3, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported sales of 174,266 units, a 10 percent decrease compared with sales in September 2016 (192,883 units).
      In September, retail sales of 146,904 units were up 0.3 percent compared with the same month in 2016 and represented 84 percent of total sales. In line with FCA’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 27,362 units were down, as expected, 41 percent year over year. The largest planned volume reduction in September fleet sales came from the Jeep® brand, which reduced its fleet sales number by 67 percent year over year. Fleet sales represented 16 percent of total FCA US September sales.
       
      Five FCA US vehicles posted record sales in September, including the Jeep Compass. Compass sales were up 75 percent in September, the compact SUV’s best sales month ever. In addition, the Jeep Renegade, Chrysler Pacifica, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City each recorded their best September sales ever. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Fiat 500L each posted at least double-digit percentage increases in September, compared with the same month a year ago.
      Jeep® Brand
      The Jeep Compass posted its best sales month ever, while the Jeep Renegade recorded its best September sales ever. In addition, sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most-awarded SUV ever – were up 20 percent for its best September sales since the year 2000. Jeep Wrangler sales were up 10 percent in September. While Jeep brand total sales were down, due to its planned reduction in fleet sales to daily rental car companies, the brand’s retail sales at Jeep dealerships were up 9 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      The Ram ProMaster full-size van and the Ram ProMaster City van each posted their best September sales ever. The Ram pickup truck recorded its best sales month so far this year. Ram Truck brand sales are up 5 percent calendar year to date, compared with the same nine-month period in 2016. The Ram Truck brand’s retail sales were up 3 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand unveiled new-for-2018 updates to two of its most popular models at the State Fair of Texas in September. Laramie Longhorn Southfork and Heavy Duty Lone Star Silver models will offer truck buyers an even wider selection of exterior appointments and content.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica – the most-awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up 18 percent last month for its best September sales since launch last year. Parents magazine and Edmunds have named the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica the “Best Minivan” on their list of the “10 Best Family Cars of 2017.”
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500L were up 103 percent last month for its best September sales since 2015 and its best sales month this year. Also in September, the FIAT brand announced the addition of the 2017 Fiat 500X Urbana Edition to its Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X lineup, offering customers yet another way to showcase their personality with their FIAT vehicle. The new 500X Urbana Edition takes the brand’s top-selling Trekking trim, best known for its rugged exterior and interior appearance, and adds unique content with black and copper accents to create a fresh new personality option for FIAT brand customers. 
       
      Dodge Brand
      Dodge Durango sales were up 45 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago, for its best September sales since 2005. Last month the editors at WardsAuto named the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT to the Wards 10 Best User Experience List for 2017 in recognition of its advanced technology and ease of use. Offering an array of advanced technology features, the Durango SRT comes equipped with a new Uconnect fourth-generation system that includes performance improvements with quicker startup time and enhanced processing power.
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 1,268 units were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago as the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV begins to arrive in greater numbers at  U.S. dealerships.

    • By FAPTurbo
      FIAT's 500e is an odd vehicle, in that it's one of the industry's better EV efforts and yet it's publicly loathed by FIAT's own CEO.
      Though sold only in California and Oregon, a number of 500e's are coming off lease, needing new homes. Unlike many Americans in late 2016 who swore they'd move to Canada, FIAT 500e's are actually following through on those plans, aware of Canada's love of cheap and cheerful compacts.
      Juicy Jolt
      A couple diminutive expats ended up at a nearby lot, one of which was a bright, juicy orange with a white accented spoiler, air dam and mirrors. Despite being a fairly old vehicle, this colour combination is akin to a Scaramucci-esque botox and bake, turning this familiar 10 year old design into a charismatic creamsicle-coloured cherub.
      Though a dated interior, the 500e's cream white dash and matching faux-leather seats spruce the space up enough to take eyes off of the hard plastics. Orange accents on the doors and the seating add a playful, premium flair, albeit once your hand's drawn to them, do you realize this is still an economy car.
      Buttons and dials are close at hand and easy to use, and felt relatively satisfying to press, save for the one blank 'dead' button below the climate controls. I wish companies would make the effort to turn dead buttons into something, even if it's redundant functionality.
      A single digital display occupies the gauge pod, providing easy to read speed, mileage and remaining power information. Like some other electrics and hybrids, the 500e provides feedback on your driving; green for being energy efficient, red for not. It's not as gamified as Ford's use of green leaves in their system but it works well enough.  
      Using manual controls, finding a comfortable seating position for my 6'3 frame was easy, with legroom to spare. The seats didn't feel as if I'd slid into a penalty box, and I felt well supported. Aside from the chunky B-pillars, the seats provided a commanding view of the road, moreso than some other cars I've driven in this class.
      Rear space is adequate for a grocery run, and with the seats folded down, the 500e is surprisingly spacious. 
      The Cinquecento With Zip
      Upon starting the vehicle, an other-worldly digital screech pierced the cabin for over three seconds and my nightmares forever. The sound was similar to someone holding a microphone near a speaker. This apparently was an issue with the head-unit which the dealer promised would be fixed. However, upon looking through some paperwork, it seems attempts to fix the issue had taken place by the prior dealer. Having something like this happen on a fairly new car speaks volumes about FIAT's quality.
      But after you hit 'D' on the centre console and hit the road, the 500e's gremlins took a back seat in what is a genuinely fun runabout.  
      Acceleration from 0 - 50km/h is brisk, and I found myself taking the right lane at red lights to get the jump on everyone else. While nowhere as visceral as a Tesla's take-off, the FIAT springs forward with just enough brio to put a cheeky smirk on your face, not unlike the one you had when you drove a go-kart for the first time.
      Dancing through traffic is a breeze with the 500e's instant torque and diminutive proportions. Zipping in and out of lanes, and around city corners is good fun, despite the hard, mileage-oriented tires and extra 600 lbs from the batteries, as well as the large B-pillar on the left side which creates a sizeable blind spot.
      The 500e's steering is engaging enough for most of us, and the car would likely be an entertaining cliffside drive alternative to its Abarth cousin.
      Parking the FIAT is simple, with it's small stature and included sensors making it easy to whip in and out of stalls, and in-between cars, even with the blind sports impeding vision. Best of all, the 500e's driver likely won't have to hunt for a spot very long, with plenty of EV-specific stalls in parkades.
      With about 150 kilometers of range, the 500e's is suitable for the average Canadian commute of 17km to work.
      (Insert Stereotypical Italian Phrase Here)
      I didn't have an opportunity to take the 500e on the freeway, nor charge it. Range is a respectable 150km, which is competitive considering a current-year base model Nissan Leaf and standard Smart Electric clock in at 135km and 160km respectively, while the FIAT offers arguably more spirited handling and panache. 
      At used prices hovering around $15,000 CAD and fairly low mileages, the 500e makes a great deal of sense as a primary car for people living in or adjacent to a city. 
      I have two major concerns:
      First, is that FIAT's battery warranty is not applicable in Canada. This means that owners will have to pay out of pocket in the event of issues. Dealers are being fairly up-front about this, however some of their ads promise 'free powertrain warranty' or 'free lifetime engine warranty,' which don't apply to the battery system and while likely from a template, are dubious. 
      Second of course, is FIAT's own reliability track record, which reinforces my first concern.
    • By William Maley
      Earlier this year, Smart announced that it would be ending sales of the gas models and switch over to selling electric only models. This announcement has many Smart dealers running for the exit.
      According to Automotive News, dealers had until the end June to make a decision whether to keep selling Smarts or move to a service-only operation. Out of the 85 dealers in the U.S., 58 (about two-thirds) would move to the service-only operation. Smart spokeswoman Donna Boland said these numbers are preliminary.
      Dealers that opt out of selling Smart will transition to service once they sell out of inventory. The 'vast majority' are expected to transition by the end of this year.
      The remaining 27 dealers are in areas with zero-emission vehicle mandates that will give the brand "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Such areas include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
      As Automotive News points out, Smart's 27 dealers will make it one of the smallest dealership networks in the U.S. The likes of Lamborghini and Lotus have larger dealer networks at 31 and 41 respectively. 
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Earlier this year, Smart announced that it would be ending sales of the gas models and switch over to selling electric only models. This announcement has many Smart dealers running for the exit.
      According to Automotive News, dealers had until the end June to make a decision whether to keep selling Smarts or move to a service-only operation. Out of the 85 dealers in the U.S., 58 (about two-thirds) would move to the service-only operation. Smart spokeswoman Donna Boland said these numbers are preliminary.
      Dealers that opt out of selling Smart will transition to service once they sell out of inventory. The 'vast majority' are expected to transition by the end of this year.
      The remaining 27 dealers are in areas with zero-emission vehicle mandates that will give the brand "the highest market penetration potential," Boland said. Such areas include San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
      As Automotive News points out, Smart's 27 dealers will make it one of the smallest dealership networks in the U.S. The likes of Lamborghini and Lotus have larger dealer networks at 31 and 41 respectively. 
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports June 2017 Sales
      Ram pickup truck sales up 5 percent; best June sales ever Jeep® Grand Cherokee posts best June sales since 2005 Chrysler Pacifica minivan sales up 59 percent; best sales month since launch last year July 3, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported sales of 187,348 units, a 7 percent decrease compared with sales in June 2016 (202,421 units).
       
      In June, retail sales of 139,947 units were down 5 percent compared with the same month in 2016, and represented 75 percent of total sales. In line with FCA’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 47,401 units were down as expected 15 percent year over year. The largest planned volume reduction in June fleet sales came from the Jeep brand which reduced its fleet sales number by 49 percent year over year. Fleet sales represented 25 percent of total June sales.
       
      The Ram pickup truck, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City each posted their best June sales ever. Sales of the Jeep® Grand Cherokee were up 21 percent for its best June sales since 2005. The Jeep Renegade recorded its best June sales ever. Sales of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica were up 59 percent, the minivan’s best sales month since launch last year.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 5 percent year over year for its best June sales ever. The Ram ProMaster full-size van and Ram ProMaster City van also posted their best June sales ever. The Ram Truck brand ended the month with its best June sales since 2004. Ram Truck is the industry’s most improved truck brand with more than a 24 percent improvement in the brand’s initial quality score from last year’s J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). The annual IQS results for 2017 were announced in June.
       
      The Ram Truck brand in June introduced the new 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten Edition, the most luxurious Ram pickup truck ever. The enhanced interior and exterior trim aligns with Ram’s leadership in design and luxury. The Limited Tungsten Edition MSRP starts at $55,120 (not including $1,395 destination).
        
      Jeep® Brand
      Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever – were up 21 percent in June for its best June sales since 2005. In addition, the Jeep Renegade recorded its best June sales ever. The Jeep Compass posted its best sales month so far this year.
       
      Dodge Brand
      Three Dodge brand vehicles posted year-over-year sales increases in June, led by the Dodge Challenger muscle car with its 24 percent year-over-year sales gain. Dodge Grand Caravan sales were up 9 percent for its best June sales since 2006. Dodge Viper sales increased 46 percent, compared with the same month a year ago. The Challenger and Grand Caravan ranked second in initial quality in their respective segments in the J.D. Power IQS.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler 300 full-size sedan were up year-over-year in June. Sales of the Pacifica – the most awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up 59 percent in June, compared with the same month a year ago. June was the minivan’s best sales month since it was launched last year. The Pacifica continues to accumulate awards and accolades in 2017, including highest-ranking minivan in its maiden year in the J.D. Power IQS. Chrysler 300 sales were up 47 percent in June, compared with the same month a year ago. It was the full-size sedan’s best June sales since 2012. June was the Chrysler brand’s best sales month so far this year.
       
      FIAT Brand
      The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth took the top award in the “Small Convertible” category at last month’s Topless in Miami Presented by Haartz competitive car event hosted by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA). More than 40 journalists attended the event and drove more than 25 vehicles from various manufacturers. Journalists voted for their favorite vehicles after driving scenic routes in Key Biscayne, Fla. 
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 1,017 units were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago.
      FCA US LLC Sales Summary June 2017
                      Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      8,311
      8,968
      -7%
      25,746
      50,576
      -49%
      Patriot
      4,752
      10,562
      -55%
      30,849
      60,671
      -49%
      Wrangler
      18,839
      20,092
      -6%
      98,922
      100,412
      -1%
      Cherokee
      11,895
      16,392
      -27%
      81,368
      101,002
      -19%
      Grand Cherokee
      20,176
      16,724
      21%
      116,379
      100,355
      16%
      Renegade
      9,180
      9,027
      2%
      53,027
      52,227
      2%
      JEEP BRAND
      73,153
      81,765
      -11%
      406,291
      465,243
      -13%
      200
      1,945
      7,977
      -76%
      13,722
      36,115
      -62%
      300
      5,355
      3,638
      47%
      28,273
      30,934
      -9%
      Town & Country
      42
      3,872
      -99%
      502
      51,810
      -99%
      Pacifica
      12,399
      7,801
      59%
      59,598
      11,043
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      19,741
      23,288
      -15%
      102,095
      129,902
      -21%
      Dart
      994
      3,063
      -68%
      8,133
      28,450
      -71%
      Avenger
      0
      4
      -100%
      0
      41
      -100%
      Charger
      6,379
      6,662
      -4%
      43,153
      48,619
      -11%
      Challenger
      6,605
      5,329
      24%
      35,910
      34,593
      4%
      Viper
      83
      57
      46%
      402
      302
      33%
      Journey
      6,073
      12,507
      -51%
      56,877
      47,768
      19%
      Caravan
      16,210
      14,881
      9%
      79,867
      73,910
      8%
      Durango
      6,206
      6,811
      -9%
      36,638
      38,488
      -5%
      DODGE  BRAND
      42,550
      49,314
      -14%
      260,980
      272,171
      -4%
      Ram P/U
      43,073
      41,089
      5%
      250,443
      233,220
      7%
      Cargo Van
      0
      1
      -100%
      0
      21
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      3,727
      3,144
      19%
      20,708
      17,096
      21%
      ProMaster City
      1,845
      1,455
      27%
      8,444
      9,621
      -12%
      RAM BRAND
      48,645
      45,689
      6%
      279,595
      259,958
      8%
      500
      995
      1,115
      -11%
      7,456
      7,787
      -4%
      500L
      184
      279
      -34%
      746
      2,342
      -68%
      500X
      553
      934
      -41%
      3,980
      6,582
      -40%
      Spider
      510
      1
      New
      2,500
      1
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,242
      2,329
      -4%
      14,682
      16,712
      -12%
      Giulia
      992
      0
      New
      3,474
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      23
      36
      -36%
      243
      297
      -18%
      Stelvio
      2
      0
      New
      2
      0
      New
      ALFA ROMEO
      1,017
      36
      2725%
      3,717
      297
      1152%
      FCA US LLC
      187,348
      202,421
      -7%
      1,067,360
      1,144,283
      -7%
       
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