Gladiator Q4 2019 sales numbers out - thoughts?

aj8544

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So 4th quarter 2019 sales figures were just published this morning. Jeep sold 16,663 Gladiators in q4, bringing the total to 40,047 for 2019.

Wondering if most think that is successful or not?

Here are my (mostly uneducated) thoughts:

I expected higher q4 numbers for a few reasons. Color availability of gobi, gator and hydro blue, as well as seeing dealer discounts on Rubicons of up to $6500 locally, and robust inventories on lots in general.

Q3 sales were very similar- just over 16k. If this trend holds it would mean full yearly sales of 65k or so. I have to believe that is well below Jeeps expectations for the Gladiator. For some perspective 52k wranglers were sold q4.

So what does everyone think- is the Gladiator selling as or better than expected- or is this starting to look like a flop?


PRESS RELEASE

FCA US Reports Fourth-quarter and Full-year 2019 Sales

  • Ram brand reports record fourth-quarter and full-year sales
  • Jeep® Wrangler achieves record fourth-quarter sales of more than 52,012 vehicles
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee notches record full-year sales of 242,969 vehicles
  • Dodge Charger reports record fourth-quarter and full-year sales
January 3, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC closed the fourth quarter and 2019 with a handful of records as America’s love of capability, power and speed pushed Ram, Dodge and Jeep® to new sales levels.

Topping the year were the successful launches of the redesigned Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks and the Jeep Gladiator. The Gladiator finished 2019 with 40,047 vehicle sales following its May debut.

U.S. sales for the fourth quarter were 542,519 vehicles, down 2 percent, while sales for the year were down 1 percent at 2,203,663 vehicles. Retail sales were 419,273 vehicles for the quarter. Fleet accounted for 22.7 percent of total sales.

The Ram brand led the portfolio with record-setting sales of 190,655 for the quarter and 703,023 vehicles for the year – an 18 percent increase over 2018. It was the highest level of sales since Ram became a standalone brand in 2009.

Jeep Wrangler, which notched a variety of records throughout the year, reported its highest fourth quarter with sales of 52,012 vehicles. Grand Cherokee reported a full-year record with sales of 242,969 vehicles.

Dodge also bucked the trend in passenger cars by turning in one of its strongest years as the Charger notched record sales of 25,829 vehicles for the quarter and 96,935 vehicles for the year. Dodge muscle cars Charger and Challenger combined sales in the second half were a record 84,216 vehicles.

“Our dealers did an outstanding job in 2019, not only with meeting consumer demand, but also handling the introduction of the redesigned Ram Heavy Duty and new Jeep Gladiator,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “We have read the expectations that sales may slow a bit in 2020. However, we believe there is still plenty of demand in the market and we are ready for a new year.”

jeep-sales-q4-2019-png.png





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WXman

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It's lower than I expected. But then again, there are a LOT of consumers who shop pickups based upon MSRP and not based upon value. If the only thing that matters to you is the price tag, then the Gladiator is going to the bottom of the list.
 
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To add a bit more data- Toyota sold over 20,000 tacomas in december alone...
 

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I get stopped every day with people coming up to me asking about the Gladiator and that they had no idea Jeep was making a pickup truck. Maybe they aren't advertising enough to push sales numbers up. The looks I get while driving my JT around is funny to me because its like people cant believe their eyes and what they are seeing. Plus, I definitely believe the price being so high is a factor as well which probably has a lot to do with the low sales numbers. Then again the Wrangler is not cheap either and they selling the crap outta those. Whatever the case may be doesn't change the fact that I love this freaking truck so much! I absolutely enjoy driving this truck and just looking at it parked makes me all warm inside. All I can say is that there are a lot of people missing out on an enjoyable, fantastic ride.
 

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FCA sold 52,012 wranglers in the 4th quarter up 6% from 2018 4th Quarter, compared to 16,633 Gladiator sale's. A case could be made the Wrangler sales are not being affected by or in competition with the Gladiator, The Gladiator and its premium pricing is in competition with the truck market and sales should have been better if it is going to pick up share's in that market. Is it high pricing or time will tell if The Gladiator is a specialty vehicle in a class of its own and will only have sales that market bears and will that market be large or small.
 

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I don't think Jeep ever thought they would match the Tacoma sales. I'd be curious what their internal estimates were. I do think they need some rebates to make it a bit more competitive.

They sold 7.2k gladiators in Q2 and 16k in Q3.
 
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I don't think Jeep ever thought they would match the Tacoma sales. I'd be curious what their internal estimates were. I do think they need some rebates to make it a bit more competitive.

They sold 7.2k gladiators in Q2 and 16k in Q3.
I dont think they planned to match the Tacoma either- but that number for Tacoma was within about 1000 of the december 2018 number. So the question is did they plan on NOT taking any buyers from the Tacoma market?
 
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It's lower than I expected. But then again, there are a LOT of consumers who shop pickups based upon MSRP and not based upon value. If the only thing that matters to you is the price tag, then the Gladiator is going to the bottom of the list.
I think Msrp is the big issue, but I think that defining value is the reason msrp is the problem. Traditional truck buyers equate value as the hp/torque/towing etc per $. That is where with those buyers struggle with the Gladiator- for less money you can get more truck. The same goes for off road capability- buy a wrangler that is more off road capable for less. So the gladiator market seems limited to those who value the jeep features enough and need a truck over a wrangler enough to pay more.
 

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What are the chances the Gladiator becomes a single production year run? Seems like a waste but would make those out there fairly valuable down the road.
But that makes replacement parts, especially body panels, harder to get
 

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I dont think they planned to match the Tacoma either- but that number for Tacoma was within about 1000 of the december 2018 number. So the question is did they plan on NOT taking any buyers from the Tacoma market?
Certainly a fair question. It's interesting especially when you see that the Ford ranger hat good sales success in the US as well this year. Heck even that terrible frontier continues to sell decent
 

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FCA’s target or production limit is 100k JT units per year. Considering that JTR’s, at higher margins, are the bulk of these sales, combined with a late May 2019 launch, these numbers are good by any measure for a “lifestyle” vehicle.

I think the real question is, will the JT meet its 100k per year sales target?

If you look at RAM sales figures, which share the same floor space at most CDJR dealerships, I’d suspect that some folks who go in looking at a JT come out with a much higher discounted RAM that has more content in it than the Jeep.

Personally, I enjoy the exclusivity of this vehicle. It’s nice not seeing one every 20 feet on the road. Makes for exceptional resale value 5 - 10 years down the road too.
 

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I dont think they planned to match the Tacoma either- but that number for Tacoma was within about 1000 of the december 2018 number. So the question is did they plan on NOT taking any buyers from the Tacoma market?
I think Msrp is the big issue, but I think that defining value is the reason msrp is the problem. Traditional truck buyers equate value as the hp/torque/towing etc per $. That is where with those buyers struggle with the Gladiator- for less money you can get more truck. The same goes for off road capability- buy a wrangler that is more off road capable for less. So the gladiator market seems limited to those who value the jeep features enough and need a truck over a wrangler enough to pay more.
Well let's look at this from a business perspective. Mark Allen from the beginning has said that they wanted Gladiator to be in a class of its own. And that's what it is. Why compare it to the Tacoma, which is objectively the worst truck in the segment in every single category? Tacoma has the worst powertrain, drum brakes, plastic box, horrible interior space, 15 year old platform, outdated technology, low payload and towing numbers, and a history of horrible recalls and in the previous generation they were even buying back entire trucks. Why on earth would you use that truck as your benchmark?

The real problem is that people don't see the value in the Gladiator. They see the sticker price and run away. They don't take the time to dive into the fact that Gladiator has the largest brakes in the class, the strongest frame in the class, the most 2nd row legroom in the class, the highest gasoline towing capacity in the class, the most offroad capability you can get, the only truck in the country with a convertible top and removable doors, the only truck in the segment with a ZF-based world class transmission, the only truck in the segment that has an engine that has been on Ward's 10 Best Engines list in multiple years, etc. etc. etc. You get SO much more with Gladiator than you do with any other midsize truck you can buy. But..... none of that matters because shoppers see the sticker price and run.

Which brings me to my next point. FCA screwed this up because they should have put entry level Sports on the lots FIRST. Get a thick shipment of $35-40k models on the lots across the nation first. THEN start weaning in your higher priced trims. Instead, what they did was the opposite. Every dealership in America is stacked up with $55-63k trucks and so the average consumer now believes that this is a $60k truck. It was horrible marketing on FCA's part.

At the end of the day, it's a sad story because Gladiator is so misunderstood. This truck has payload and towing numbers that rival full size trucks, combined with more off-road prowess and more fun factor and a LOT more resale value.
 
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aj8544

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FCA’s target or production limit is 100k JT units per year. Considering that JTR’s, at higher margins, are the bulk of these sales, combined with a late May 2019 launch, these numbers are good by any measure for a “lifestyle” vehicle.

I think the real question is, will the JT meet its 100k per year sales target?.
I do remember that 100k figure-I wonder if they meant 100k for model year 2020- which will likely be more like 18months, or per calendar year? Doesnt seem like theres even a chance if they are talking calendar year, or even model year beyond 2020 for that matter unless something major changes.

Also- does anyone know what the sales numbers actually reflect- sold to consumer or sold to dealers? Just curious in light of the reports of FCA overproducing and forcing dealers to take extra units in december to reduce the 70k surplus they built... If it is sold to dealers, and FCA pushed more onto dealer lots in december- is the real sold number even worse?
 

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unless something major changes...
A few major changes are coming:
  1. Diesel
  2. Plug-in Hybrid
  3. Rivian/CyberTruck/Solid State power trains
The good news is more power trains to choose from, and increased competition, will bring us consumers more choices and better vehicles.

Will this increase/decrease unit sales? That’s FCA/PSA’s problem to solve. For me, I’m happy with my JTR. I’m also very happy with my JLR and Hellcat Challenger. FCA is bringing lifestyle vehicles to market with me in mind. Awesome!
 

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