Chrysler Group recently released its sales figures for May 2012, and they aren’t surprising: another huge gain, marking the company’s 26th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gain and the 12th consecutive month of sales gains higher than 20%. Chrysler’s Jeep division sales were up 24% and Dodge is up 14%. The success of the company is attributed to its acquisition by Fiat, who have turned the company on its head in trying to bolster sales figures. The acquisition has been a roaring success – two years of continual sales growth is nothing to scoff at, mind you, and the fact that their subsidiary brand names are selling well too is a good indicator of Chrysler’s intent to get back on top. Even auto transporters have noticed a rise in the number of Chrysler vehicles on their rigs, which is awesome considering Chrysler is an American company.
The Chrysler Town & Country minivan has seen better days, we’ll admit, but the company has taken a step that shocked a lot of people by announcing the discontinuation of the Town & Country line after the 2013 model year. While industry insiders may have seen this coming – Americans are buying less minivans than ever, and of the 472,000 sold last year the Town & Country sold just 94,000 – a lot of people, including myself, really didn’t see it coming. Mind you, Chrysler is probably doing the right thing, and by introducing a trendy new crossover in its place they may just bolster their sales and image a bit more. Auto transport companies have been shipping more and more Chrysler vehicles as of late, and with all the changes going on in the company my guess it’s only a matter of time before they start gaining some of the market share they lost when they took the government bailout money in 2008.
Though the government has approved a 15% ethanol/85% gasoline blend to be used in everyday vehicles, auto groups across the country are saying that testing wasn’t finished and that the fuel blend can actually damage engines. This comes at a time when ethanol blends are all the rage, but vehicles that aren’t used to richer blends can see serious side-effects as a result of its usage. While no details as to what actually happens have been released that I’ve seen, I’m betting that these guys are right – they usually are. Auto transporters who use diesel probably don’t have to worry about this, but still, if you’re buying gasoline make sure that you aren’t getting an E15 blend.
This is interesting. According to several reliable sources (such as Edmunds.com and TrueCar.com), overall fleet sales for auto manufacturers reached 2.5 million units in 2011 – that’s a fifth of all total, global sales for all the automakers combined. That’s a lot. And yet fleets and their vehicles are regarded as red-headed stepchildren of the auto industry, and it begs the question as to why exactly this is. Auto makers publish fleet sales in hush-hush ways, putting emphasis on individual sales as opposed to fleets. Auto transporters often transport fleet vehicles, especially for larger companies that have multiple fleets across the country, but the truth is that individual units being shipped far outweigh fleet orders. But I still don’t know why.
A company called Honeywell Turbo Technologies is working closely with several major automobile manufacturers in order to meet a sudden surge in demand for affordable, energy-efficient turbocharged engines that don’t compromise performance, a task that the company is only too happy to accept. Vehicles such as those of the Ford EcoBoost line and the Chevy Cruze and Sonic Eco models are expected to rise in sales from 2.2 million in 2011 to 3.2 million in 2012, which would be a major increase in total sales. This comes at a time when the auto transport industry is looking for new models to ship, and this could be a major factor in the upswing of the industry as a whole. New turbocharged models are only just beginning to emerge – this blogger expects to see even better, cheaper models showing up over the next few years.