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Fleet drags down Oct. FCA sales

by Chris Vander Doelen on

October sales for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were down 13 percent from the same month last year mainly due to reduced fleet activity, the company reported Wednesday.

Total sales for FCA were 153,373 units, down from 176,609 units in October, 2016. Fleet sales – which make up 15 percent of total sales for the month – were 23,220 units, down 43 percent from last year.

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In its statement, FCA US LLC said the reduced fleet numbers are part of its strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment.

Jeep Compass was a bright spot, with sales up 81 percent from last year, to 11,207 for the month, its best ever. Last year’s comparable sales were 6,207 units.

Ram pickup also had its best month ever with sales of 44,201, up one percent from the 43,891 it sold in October last year. But sales for the Ram brand overall were down three percent for the month.

Alfa Romeo had a strong month thanks to the introduction of the Stelvio and Giulia, with sales of 1,205 for the month compared to 23 last year. But Fiat brand sales overall were down 33 percent.

Dodge sales took an even larger hit, down 41 percent to 24,476 units for the month compared to 41,514 units in October of 2016. Durango was up 11 percent to 5,148 units, but sales of the Caravan were down 79 percent, to 2,431 compared to 11,563 last year.


FCA stressed that a number of its nameplates have posted year-over-year sales increases, including the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade, Ram pickup, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango and Fiat 500L.

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; he was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.

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