Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' two Italian brands on the U.S. market saw mixed sales fortunes last month as while the arrival of the new Stelvio has given Alfa Romeo two volume models in the showrooms now and it made big sales gains the Fiat brand however saw sharp falls across all its key models.
The arrival of the Stelvio SUV range in the dealerships alongside the Giulia sedan means Alfa Romeo has two strategic models to attract a wider customer base and that's giving sales a good kick. The Stelvio saw 657 registrations during November to put it on 1,724 units for the year-to-date.
Meanwhile the Giulia sedan added another 756 units last month to bring it to 7,892 sales for the year to date. The Gulia also picked up a U.S. award earlier last week as the editors of Motor Trend magazine named it as their Car of the Year 2018.
Meanwhile the 4C's downward sales trend continued, 27 units sold last month was down 17% year-on-year and for the year-to-date it stands on 381 units, also down by 17% year-on-year.
Fiat brand's sales picture wasn't pretty for the penultimate month of the year. The 500 model shifted 782 units, down 32% year-on-year, while the 500X also suffered a similar slump in interest, down 32% to 556 units.
The niche 500L did see a rise in demand though, up 32% albeit to just 127 units. The new Spider sportscar is showing a sharp downwards trend after a mixed debut, it saw its sales continue to slide during November, down 23% to just 268 units.
For the year-to-date the Fiat brand's picture is mixed. Overall it's down by 18% when compared to the first eleven months of last year, with its key model, the 500, down 14% to 12,018 sales so far this year. Meanwhile, the 500L's sales are down by a half to 1,553 units and the 500X loses 36% to 6,992 units. Only the Spider paints a slightly better picture for Fiat as it's on 4,191 sales, albeit well below expectations while its year-on-year data isn't yet reflective.
Overall FCA's sales continue their long slide after the carmaker reported total sales of 154,919 units last month, a 4% decline when compared with sales of 160,827 units for November 2016 while it's down 8% to 1,887,430 units over the first eleven months of the year.
However FCA claims it is currently reducing fleet sales and that accounts for November's negative reporting, saying in a statement after releasing last month's sales data: "In November, retail sales of 129,539 units were up 2% compared with the same month in 2016 and represented 84% of total sales. In line with FCA’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 25,380 units were down, as expected, 25% year over year.The largest planned volume reduction in November fleet sales came from the Jeep brand, which reduced its fleet sales number by 75% year over year. Fleet sales represented 16% of total FCA US November sales."
Of FCA's other brands, the Chrysler division's sales were up 14% year-on-year in November. Both the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan posted sales increases for the month. Pacifica sales were up 51%, the minivan’s best sales month ever. There were some awards coming its way too, Green Car Reports named the Pacifica Hybrid as its "2018 Best Car to Buy" while its sister publication, The Car Connection, named the Pacifica as its "2018 Best Minivan to Buy". Sales of the 300 sedan were up 15% in November, its best sales for the month for two years. The 300 also picked up an award as it won the "Large Car" segment in Edmunds’ "Most Wanted" honours last month. The 200's sales though were down by 87% to 359 units.
Jeep came in almost flat for November, down 2%, the big winners from the off road brand were the Cherokee, up 44% and the Compass, climbing 34%. The Renegade worryingly though lost 23%. The Dodge unit was down 15% for the penultimate month of the year with only its top selling model, the Caravan, avoiding the red ink, up 28%, while the Dart fades out, it turned in just 128 sales last month.
The Ram commercial vehicle unit was down 15% with its primary pickup model seeing its sales remaining flat and there was a mixed performance from its two Fiat-derived models, the Pro Master (Ducato) was down 46% to 2,555 units last month and the Pro Master City (Doblò) up 21% to 1,121 units. For the year-to-date these two models are relatively flat, up 4% and down 4% respectively.
ItaliaspeedTV: Alfa Romeo Stelvio