US Auto Sales in October 2017: Solid Growth for Ford and Toyota

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Part 11
US Auto Sales in October 2017: Solid Growth for Ford and Toyota PART 11 OF 15

Reviewing Fiat Chrysler’s October 2017 US Sales by Segment

Fiat Chrysler’s brand-wise US sales

In October 2017, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) sold about 1,205 units of its luxury brand, Alfa Romeo, compared with just 23 units in October 2016. This increase could be attributed to high US demand for the company’s recently launched Alfa Romeo Giulia and Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV (sports utility vehicle).

According to Autodata, Fiat Chrysler’s US car and truck sales fell 16.9% and 12.6% YoY (year-over-year), respectively, in October. Let’s explore how these lower truck sales could affect the company’s 4Q17 profitability.

Reviewing Fiat Chrysler&#8217;s October 2017 US Sales by Segment

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Jeep and Ram sales also fall

In October 2017, Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand sales were weak for a ninth consecutive month, while Ram brand sales fell for a second consecutive month. The company sold about 67,074 Jeep brand units during the month, a 3% YoY fall, and 47,831 Ram brand units, also a 3% YoY fall.

In September, FCAU’s Jeep and Ram brand vehicle sales stood at 73,409 and 51,686 units, respectively. Ram and Jeep are two of the main brands in Fiat Chrysler’s US product lineup. These brands help the company maintain a strong position in the pickup truck market.

Could the fall hurt 4Q17 profit margins?

Pickup trucks and Fiat Chrysler’s luxury brand vehicles such as Alfa Romeo typically generate high profitability. Whereas an increase in the company’s Alfa Romeo sales in October could have positive effects, ongoing weakness in its truck sales could negatively affect its 4Q17 profitability.

Note that FCAU’s weak car sales in the first ten months of 2017 could be a result of lower demand for cars than heavyweight vehicles. Fiat Chrysler’s profit margins are already smaller than those of competitors (IYK) such as Toyota Motor (TM), General Motors (GM), and Ford Motor (F). In the next part, we’ll learn about Toyota’s US auto sales in October 2017.


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