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FCA closes a mixed 2017‚ down 11%

by David Zatz on

Today, FCA US reported December sales of 171,946 — 11% below last December — along with its full year sales.

Retail sales for the month fell by 3% versus December 2016, representing 88% of total sales — a fine percentage for a Detroit automaker.  FCA let US fleet sales fall by 42%, to 21,174, led by Jeep’s drop of 75% — presumably, the Patriot and old Compass had been fleet-dependent.

With the support of fleet sales kicked out in favor of higher profit margins, annual sales totals dropped below 2016 and 2015 totals, but remained above 2009-14 figures (and, most likely, above the company’s “five year plan” projections).

The big sales-loser for the year was, unsurprisingly, the discontinued Jeep Patriot, with 121,926 sales in 2016 and just 40,735 in 2017. The also-dropped 200 fell from around 57,000 to 18,457, and the Dart from 43,402 to 10,082.  Likewise, the Town & Country fell from 59,071 to 577 sales, while its replacement, the Pacifica, went from 62,366 up to 118,274, mostly making up the difference. Its fleet-heavy compatriot, the Caravan, stayed roughly stable with 125,196 sales.

In the land of the living, the biggest casualties were the Cherokee (down 15%), Journey (down 16%), and Fiat (down 19%, collectively, despite the Spider’s 4,478 sales). There were gainers, too: the Grand Cherokee (up 13%), and Ram pickup (up by just 2%, but that’s 12,000 trucks).

FCA’s corporate gamble, Alfa Romeo, sold 8,903 Giulias for the year but just 2,721 Stelvios.

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