Fiat Chrysler’s brand-wise sales
In March 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) sold 2,576 car units of its luxury brand, Alfa Romeo, in the US market compared to the 555 car units it sold in March 2017. This sharp increase in Alfa Romeo sales can be attributed to solid demand for the company’s recent launches, the Stelvio SUV (sport-utility vehicle) and Giulia models.
According to the data compiled by Autodata, Fiat Chrysler’s March US car sales fell 3.8% in March 2018, while its truck sales rose 16.4% YoY (year-over-year).
Solid Jeep demand in the US market
In March 2018, Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand sales remained strong for the third month in a row after falling for the previous 11 consecutive months. At the same time, total Ram brand sales remained weak and witnessed negative YoY growth.
The company sold ~98,000 units of its Jeep brand during the month, up 45% YoY, and 45,000 units of its Ram brand during the month, down 13% YoY. Nonetheless, Ram’s US retail sales jumped 8% YoY in March 2018.
In February 2018, FCAU’s total Jeep and Ram brand vehicle sales were lower YoY at 70,000 and 37,000 units, respectively. Jeep and Ram are two of the key brands in Fiat Chrysler’s US product line. Ram also helps FCAU uphold a notable position in the pickup truck market.
Possible impact on 1Q18 earnings
Pickup trucks and luxury brand vehicles generate high profits for vehicle manufacturers. A notable increase in the company’s Alfa Romeo sales and strong demand for its Jeep brand could have a positive impact on its 1Q18 operating profit margins.
In its most recently reported quarter, Fiat Chrysler’s net profit margins were lower than those of other auto companies (XLY) Toyota Motor (TM), General Motors (GM), and Ford Motor Company (F). Among these auto companies, Toyota is known to maintain the highest profit margins.
Next, we’ll learn about Toyota’s US auto sales in March 2018.