Alfa Romeo saw its sales continue to rise sharply on the U.S. market during March, thanks once again to the new Giulia and Stelvio, while the Fiat brand went the otherway, its sales slumped by almost a half as consumers shunned all its volume models.
In total Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has reported March sales of 216,063 units, a 14% year-on-year increase when compared to the 190,254 units it shifted in the same month last year.
Meanwhile FCA said that retail sales accounted for 162,304 units, up 11% from the equivalent month last year which made it the best month of March retail sales since the company sold 170,545 units in March 2001.
Total sales were the highest since March 2006 when the company sold 216,865 units. Fleet accounted for 25% of overall sales.
The Alfa Romeo brand shifted 2,576 cars last month with the Giulia leading the way with 1,284 units and the Stelvio adding 1,270 units.
Neither have comparable year-on-year data to analyse but that was a significant jump on the first two months of the year and in fact the first time in 2018 that ether model has sold more than in the three digits range. March’s sales performance by Alfa Romeo was not far off January and February combined.
However, while that was a promising rise in volumes, both the Giulia and Stelvio are still selling far below expectations and that uptick needs to be carried forward. Alfa Romeo this month has added a new exterior trim option for the Giulia and Stelvio, dubbed the 'Nero Edizione', as it continues to look to widening the scope of its two key models.
The third model in the U.S. range, the 4C sportscar, found 12 buyers last month, which was 68% down year-on-year.
For the year-to-date Alfa Romeo has found 5,792 buyers in the U.S. with the Giulia accounting for 3,085 units and the Stelvio is on 2,653. The balance is made up with 54 sales by the 4C.
The Fiat brand had another shocking March, its sales collapsed by 47% year-on-year and that followed on from a 42% fall last month. Only the niche 500L had a decent month, it was up 63% to 173 units.
The 500 hatchback was the worst offender and its 439 units sold last month was down 74% year-on-year, the 500X was down 16% to 607 units while the Spider wasn’t spared the red ink either as it fell 22% to 325 units. The 500 will benefit from a new special series, the "500 Urbana" which has debuted at the currently running New York International Auto Show.
After the first quarter of the year the Fiat brand is on 4,014 units and is down 44% on the opening three months of last year with only the niche 500L showing any positive momentum, up 39% for the period to 395 units. The 500 is down 67% to 1,309 units, the 500X down a fifth to 1,579 units and the Spider down almost a quarter to 731 units.
Elsewhere the Jeep brand is FCA’s brightest spot, its sales rocketed 45% year-on-year in March to 98,382 units for its best month ever. The Wrangler was both Jeep and FCA’s best-selling model as its sales rose 70% to 27,829 units to eclipse its May 2015 previous sales record of 22,615 vehicles. Meanwhile Cherokee sales increased 63% to 23,764 units.