Over the past few decades, competing automakers in Europe and Asia have developed their own reputations for superiority. German cars have become synonymous with luxury and precision, while Italian cars deliver excitement and emotion. Sweden’s Volvos offer the best in safety, and England provides sumptuous style. Across the Pacific, the major Japanese automakers have built their reputation on reliability and longevity, while Kia and Hyundai of Korea now provide top-flight quality at great value. While foreign automakers tend to focus their approaches in ways that bear out these specific reputations, America remains a bastion of variety.
Sales of new vehicles, from nearly all brands, fell a combined 6 percent last month, but one brand defied the trend and set a new sales record.
Jeep managed to move more than 90,000 vehicles in May, a new record and an increase of nearly 14 percent over the same month last year. Even more remarkable is that May 2016 was two days shorter than May 2015.
Ford sales were down 6.6 percent, GMC went down 14.3 percent, and Chevrolet fell 18.6 percent. FCA’s other brands didn’t fare as well as Jeep, with Chrysler falling 18.5 percent and Fiat down 18.9 percent. Ram sales were flat.
All these percentages can be translated into one very interesting fact: Americans have fallen in love with Jeep.
With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.
Neither of those are safe bets to hit the market anytime soon, but the vehicle that got us thinking about such possibilities is the ubiquitous Jeep Wrangler.
The Wrangler just might be the most famous 4×4 of all time, and the next few years could turn out to be some of the best it has ever seen.
Here’s what’s coming down the road for Wrangler fans.
As more and more 2016 cars pour onto (and off of) dealership lots and our planet Earth approaches yet another successful revolution around the Sun, it’s time to wave farewell to the automotive Class of 2015. In 2014, BMW brought us the spaceship-like i8 and first showed us its new 2 and 4 Series coupes. Jaguar rolled onto the scene with its convertible F-TYPE, putting the rest of the sports-car world on notice, and Chevrolet responded with authority as it unveiled the C7 Corvette. But, if anything, 2015 brought even more excitement to the market. Dodge began selling 707-hp Hellcats, Jaguar put a roof on the F-Type, Volvo brought a stunning new wagon to the United States, and Jeep gave us a Renegade that is surprisingly good off-road.