It was a case of Alfa Romeo soaring to the skies, setting a brand new sales record, and Fiat crashing down to earth, with just 60 sales, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) two Italian brands on the Canadian new car market last month.
Alfa Romeo provided the better news for FCA as the Stelvio has quickly found a receptive audience and taken its position as the brand’s sales driver, its 195 sales last month coupled to 156 units for the Giulia plus a single sale for the 4C (down from 2 during December 2016) means the 'sports' brand finished the month with 352 sales.
That was a record for Alfa Romeo in Canada since its relaunch but there is no comparable year-on-year data yet as neither the Giulia or the Stelvio were on sale here last December.
That performance means Alfa Romeo finishes 2017 on 1,113 units with 596 of those coming from the Giulia and 455 from the Stelvio. The 4C weighed in with 62 sales last year, down 27% year-on-year (85 sold in 2016).
While Alfa Romeo starts to gather much needed momentum - albeit still in the realm of ‘new model bounce’- the picture is starting to look bleak for the Fiat brand which has seen its market share plunge in Canada over recent months just as is the same story in the U.S. and Fiat's Canadian sales for December slumped to just 60 units, down 59% on the 148 cars it sold in December 2016.
During December the 500 sold 38 units, down 53% from 81 units in December 2016, the 500X on 11 units was down 62% on the 29 units sold the same month the previous year while the 500L couldn’t find a single buyer (18 units in December 2016). The softest fall for the Fiat brand came from the Spider, which is now reversing strong sales streak, it was still down a hefty 45% as it shrank from 20 units in december 2016 to 11 last month.
The late year sales slide in Canada hasn’t bit too hard into the full year performance though as the Fiat brand is virtually flat, down 1% from 2,355 cars sold in 2016 to 2,339 last year.
The 500 family has had a tough year in Canada with the 500 totalling 840 sales in 2017 and compared to 1,027 in 2016 that’s a 18% year-on-year fall. The 500X was Fiat's second biggest volume seller and was also a gainer as the 856 units it sold in 2017 when compared to 766 units in 2016 equates to a 12% rise. The story was difficult for the 500L which managed just 42 sales last year and when put against 304 sales in 2016 that represents a fall of 86%. Finally the Spider totted up 601 sales but its year-on-year data isn’t comparable as it went on sale during the course of 2016.
Both the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brand outperformed FCA as a whole for full year of 2017, the Italian-American carmaker down 4% and just over ten thousand units to 267,052 units. The Jeep brand was down 15% to 83,086 units, Chrysler was down 17% to 16,051 units and Dodge was down 8% to 83,044 units while the day was saved by the Ram brand, which was up 10% to 94,108 units, driven by a new sales record for its pickup range, up 10% to 89,666 units.