Global Jeep sales dipped 2.3 percent in September, its first drop in year-over-year sales since 2013. It’s not uncommon for a brand to experience a slow month every now again, but the end of Jeep’s sales streak could mean the brand’s impressive growth over the past few years has finally come to a head.
Jeep is currently FCA’s strongest brand globally and is in the midst of a worldwide expansion. The brand only sells SUVs and crossovers and is thus in good position to capitalize on current consumer thirst for such vehicles, but experts believe an influx of SUV and crossover offerings has put a dent in its sales.
“I don’t know that the bloom is off the rose so much, but the level of competition is very, very fierce right now,” Rebecca Lindland, senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, told Automotive News in an interview. “Virtually every company, both luxury and nonluxury, is coming out with all different sizes of crossovers and SUVs. That’s been Jeep’s sweet spot for so many years.”
Jeep Cherokee sales fell 12 percent in September, while Reneagde sales dipped 13 percent, Compass 16 percent and Wrangler 18 percent. AN notes that competing products such as the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and Toyota 4Runner saw double-digit gains during the same time period.
It remains to be seen whether Jeep’s September sales were a sign of future sales performance or simply an outlier. Lindland noted that “one month doesn’t make a trend,” so October and November’s sales results should reveal whether or not Jeep’s rapid expansion rate has truly plateaued.