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Why optimism is up in the auto industry despite lower January sales

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

The only segment that was up was pickups and vans, which rose 2.2 percent.

The company's F-series lineup, the most popular model in the U.S., rose 1.6 percent to 58,937, posting its best January in 14 years.

And people are paying more than ever for the F-series, which averaged $47,800 in January. That's up $1,400 from a year earlier and up $140 from December's previous high.

Mustang retail sales increased 10.7 percent with a total of 4,732 cars sold.

Fiat Chrysler

Down 12.8 percent

The Italian-American automaker sold 132,803 vehicles in the U.S. in January. The company has been intentionally reducing sales to rental car companies, partially explaining the decline. Those types of sales are less profitable than retail sales.

The Jeep brand eked out a 2.2 percent increase. The Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands declined 20.9 percent, 31.2 percent, 15.8 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively.

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