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Fiat tumbles as Europe crumbles

Fiat Group European deliveries fell 17.9% in December, finishing the year down 15.8% to 798,542 units as the European market continued to shrink.

According to numbers released by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, overall European Union (counting the nations in the EU and the countries covered by the European Free Trade Agreement) new car registrations dropped 16.3% in December and total calendar year 2012 registrations were off 8.2% with the lowest volume seen since 1995. Sales in the European Union have been falling steadily for more than a year.

As bad as the situation was across the EU, it was worse in Italy, Fiat’s most important European market. Registrations in Italy plunged 22.5% in December, the second-worst drop, after Spain, among the major European markets. For the year, 1,402,089, 19.9% fewer than at the end of 2011 and the largest shortfall of the major markets.

Fiat Group, which includes Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia/Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Maserati and Ferrari, gave up 0.6 points of market share in 2012, falling to seventh among the automakers selling in the European Union. In 2011, it was sixth, a place now occupied by BMW Group.

While Fiat’s December results weren’t pretty, the Italian automaker outperformed a number of its rivals. PSA Peugeot, Renault, General Motors, Ford and Toyota all reported larger percentage declines than Fiat. Ford sales fell off a cliff, down 27.3%, followed by a 27.0% shortfall at GM.

Fiat brand December results outperformed the market, though they fell 14.7%. For the year, Fiat reported a total of 581,885 registrations, a 14.9% deficit compared to 2011. Fiat dropped from seventh to tenth among brands as it was passed by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which all benefitted from the stronger German market.

Lancia/Chrysler took a 24.2% dive in December, finishing 2012 down 9.2% from the previous year. Alfa Romeo continues to struggle: December sales fell 36.5%. Total 2012 Alfa sales were down by nearly a third, 31.1%. New Alfa registrations were off by more than 40,000 units.

Jeep delivered some good news, being one of the only brands to finish both December and 2012 in the black. Jeep sales were up 19.0% for the year.

Does Enders-Stevens strategy open the door for Johnson?


NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver. Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....

Coughlin clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship. Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....

Johnson Clinches Countdown berth in Sonoma


Allen Johnson has secured his place in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-event series the determines the World Championships of drag racing. Johnson joins Erica Enders-Stevens, who clinched her spot last weekend. Participation is limited to the top ten drivers in each pro class. There were three different top qualifiers in Pro Stock: Johnson had the No....

Steckly scores in National 250


Three-time series champion Scott Steckly earned his first win of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season Saturday in the National 250 at the Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, Quebec. Starting from the No. 2 spot, Steckly dominated the race in the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge, leading for 202 of the 250 laps and beating Alex Guenette and the No....

Categories: Fiat and Fiat Brands, Sales.

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