The third largest US automaker, now officially called FCA US, after its parent company Fiat Chrysler automobiles, has been on a winning streak – it has tallied 56 consecutive months of sales gains in the home territories.
This is nothing short of a major record, but next year the company faces stronger headwinds, as the competition in the pickup segment picks up the pace, a slowdown in the auto industry’s overall pace is expected and the product lineup remains on the weak side. Chrysler back in 2009 was fresh out of bankruptcy and from a disastrous marriage with Germany’s Daimler a few years earlier. Back then, with just a handful of new cars and trucks coming out, many doubted the company would survive, even backed by then-strong Italian automaker Fiat SpA.
But all detractors have been forgotten as for each of the past 56 months the group managed to post better sales than in the same period of the previous year. FCA US has now seen its market share climb from 8.9% in 2009 to 12.6% during the first 11 months of 2014. Three are the models that have driven the sales gains this year: the all-new Chrysler 200, the Ram 1500 pickup range and the oddly-looking Jeep Cherokee SUV.