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Digging Deeper into Fiat Chrysler’s January US Sales Data

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January auto sales in the US

Previously in this series, we looked at the January sales data of General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker. The data suggested weakness in GM’s total US sales primarily due to a significant drop in its Chevrolet brand sales last month.

Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) is another auto giant that’s highly dependent on the US auto market. In this part of our series, we’ll look at Fiat Chrysler’s January sales performance in the US market.

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Fiat Chrysler’s January sales

In January 2017, Fiat Chrysler’s total US sales fell ~11% to 152,218 vehicle units from 171,352 units sold in January 2016. Fiat Chrysler’s retail sales remained flat on a YoY (year-over-year) basis at 109,350 units in January, and its fleet sales witnessed a fall of ~31% YoY. The massive decline in its fleet sales was the primary reason that drove the company’s overall US sales lower. Notably, the company has been following a similar strategy as GM by cutting fleet sales to boost its profitability.

In December 2016, Fiat Chrysler’s total US sales also dropped 10% YoY to 192,519 vehicle units while its fleet sales fell 34% YoY for the month.

FCAU was formed in 2014 after the merger (XLY) of Italian automaker Fiat SpA and American auto giant Chrysler. The company began trading on the NYSE on October 13, 2014.

Car versus trucks in January 2017

Fiat Chrysler’s US car sales fell 30% YoY in January 2017 while its truck sales rose 5% YoY. The company’s US sales of UVs (utility vehicles) dropped 6% YoY last month.

The company’s falling car sales could be a result of industry-wide lower demand for small cars. However, declining utility vehicle sales could be worrisome for FCAU, as higher UV sales help automakers protect their margins.

Note that Fiat Chrysler already has a reputation of having lower margins than other mainstream automakers such as GM, Ford (F), and Toyota (TM).

Read on to the next part to learn how Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep and Ram brand sales looked in January 2017.

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