There was no happy ending to the year for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on its home market, Italy, during December, as sales slumped year-on-year by 13.86% to 32,082 units comparing unfavourably to the overall Italian new car market, which was also down, albeit by 3.17%.
The year ended with 121,100 new car registrations during December in Italy according to automotive body UNRAE and FCA (UNRAE data for FCA includes niche brands Ferrari and Maserati as well as the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Jeep brands) was shunned by consumers during the final month as that 32,082 units sold represented a steep fall on the 37,242 units it shifted during December 2016 and as a result its market share contracted by over three percentage points to 26.49% for the month.
The Fiat brand was the big loser amongst the FCA brands last month as it was down 18.29% to 21,775 units which gave it a 17.98% share of the total market. Alfa Romeo also slipped, the niche sports brand was down 4.08% to 2,870 units for a 2.37% share of the market. Lancia, continiously reliant on only the B-segment Ypsilon hatchback for sales, saw its sales plummet 27.47% to 3,140 units. Also falling big was Maserati, slumping by more than a third to 150 units while Ferrari’s sales halved to 8 units. The only black ink for FCA came from the Jeep brand which was up by over a third to 4,139 units.
For the full year 1,970,497 new cars have been sold in Italy, up a pleasant 7.92% while FCA is also in positive territory for the twelve month period, up 5.65% to 560,770 units to crucially reverse a long falling picture on its home market. The Fiat brand finishes the year on 402,355 units, up 4.29% over 2016 to claim a 20.42% share of all sales last year.
The niche brands are mixed as Alfa Romeo, thanks to the impact of two important new models - the Giulia and Stelvio - over the full year is up by a quarter to 45,328 units and its market share for the total year climbs by 0.31% to 2.3% while Lancia slips 8.15% to 60,340 units and its market share contracts by just over half a percentage point to 3.06%. Maserati is up 42.08% to 2,917 units while Ferrari is down 7.53% to 344 units. Finally Jeep brand is up, 49,486 units sold representing a rise of 22.32%.
Elsewhere VW owned Lamborghini registered 10 cars during December to end the year on 133 units, its sales up by a half on 2016 while DR Motor, which assembles Chinese cars in Italy from imported CKD kits, added a further 21 cars last month to finish 2017 on 415 units, down 13.18% on the previous year.
The Fiat Panda ended the year with its place at the top of the sales charts completely unchallenged, 7,648 units of the A-segment hatchback registered during December was comfortably more than double managed by the second best seller, Citroën’s C3, which sold 3,258 units. Third place amongst the best sellers went to the Fiat 500X (3,232 units) while fourth and fifth places went to the Ypsilon (3,139) and Fiat 500L (2,865 units). There were two more Fiat brand models in the top ten for December, the 500 (2,710) and Tipo (2,644) in eighth and ninth place. Finally, making it seven FCA models in the December top ten was the Jeep Renegade (2,740).
For the full year no one could hold a candle to the Panda which amassed 145,919 sales during 2017. The Ypsilon (60,321 units) in second, the Tipo (56,046 units) in third, the 500 (53,960 units) in third, the 500L (46,450 units) in seventh and the 500X (45,789 units) in eighth wrapped up FCA’s interest in the top ten bestsellers.
Across the segments, Fiat brand enjoyed its usual lockout of A-segment durimg December thanks to the Panda and 500 while in B-segment the Ypsilon was the second best seller, the 500L third and the Fiat Punto (1,699 units) tenth. The Punto ends the year with 37,259 units sold.
In C-segment the 500X led the way during December with the Renegade second and the Tipo third but for the year as a whole it’s the Tipo that tops the segment more than ten thousand units clear of the 500X. With 1,133 sales Alfa Romeo’s Guilietta narrowly missed the top ten for the month but with 20,905 units for the year its seventh in the segment for the full year, although its sales are down almost three thousand units on the previous year.
In D-segment Alfa Romeo’s Giulia added 838 units in December, up from 631 units in December 2016, to end the year on 9,772 units while the Stelvio SUV shifted another 587 units. In E-sement Jeep’s Grand Cherokee was the ninth best seller with 100 units in December to take its totalfor the year to 1,512 albeit that was a steep drop on the 2,215 units the ageing SUV racked up in 2016.
In F-segment Maserati’s Ghibli added another 57 units in December to top the luxury category and it ends the year with 856 units sold, down from 1,071 units in 2016, to take second place, just behind Porsche's 911. The Trident brand’s Quattroporte sedan sold 8 cars in Decmber to claim the final position in F-segment top ten. In the top ten for the year just gone, aside from the Ghibli in second place, Ferrari’s 488 sportscar (GTB and Spider sales combined) gets in on tne action in ninth place, with 165 sales. Meanwhile, Lamborghini’s Huracan sportscar sold 9 units in December to creep into the F-segment top ten in eighth place.