What did Chrysler do with its highly publicized production glut? Unloaded them onto fleets. Between September and February, 48.5-percent of Chrysler’s sales were sold in quantities of ten or more. Even more troubling to dealers and consumers, close to 80-percent were bought up by rental car companies, versus GM and Ford whose rental sales are closer to half of their total fleet sales.
Mainly comprised of Chrysler minivans and the ubiquitous Sebring, DCX’s fleet sales accounted for 34.3-percent of total sales, closer in line with FoMoCo at 32.8-percent and the General at 26.6-percent.
But the trouble isn’t just at Chrysler. During that same period, Pontiac fleet sales just skimmed the halfway mark at 44.9-percent. A tough blow, as General Motors has been doing it damnedest to limit fleet sales throughout its line up. Thankfully, it’s dropping â€“ down to 31-percent for February â€“ but Pontiac’s retail registrations aren’t what they used to be this time last year.
With the introduction of the new Sebring convertible and the new Malibu, both DaimlerChrysler and General Motors are looking to limit future bulk sales. Whether either automaker’s bottom line can handle it remains to be seen, but in order to keep resale values from skimming the bottom of the retail ocean, neither has a choice.