Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) endured a bleak January in the U.K. as both the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands lost ground in a market that extended its long losing streak into the new year.
The U.K. new car market once again declined during the first month of the year, according to data release by industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 163,615 cars were driven off forecourts in January, a 6.3% fall compared with the same month in 2017. That also ended a run of six consecutive years of sales growth during the month of January.
Demand fell across the board, with registrations by business, private and fleet buyers all down, by 29.7%, 9.5% and 1.8% respectively. Meanwhile, continuing the trend of recent months, dual purpose cars (SUVs) were the only vehicle segment to see growth, with demand up 6.6% to account for a fifth (20.2%) of all new car registrations. Demand in all other segments fell, with the biggest declines affecting the mini, MPV and executive segments.
The Fiat brand managed to sell just 1,714 cars during January and when compared to 3,221 units sold during the first month of last year that adds up to a staggering 46.79% year-on-year collapse in sales. As a result, its share of the U.K. market tumbled from 1.85% in January 2017 to 1.05% last month.
Alfa Romeo is seeing very little reward from having the Giulia and Stelvio in the showrooms as it finished January relatively flat with 277 sales. The was down 7 units and 2.84% year-on-year but easily outperformed the falling U.K. market and as a result its share of all sales for the month edged up from 0.16% in January 2017 to 0.17% last month.
Abarth was the only FCA brand to enjoy any black ink last month as it shifted 279 cars, which was up 56 units and 25.11% year-on-year. As a result, the Scorpion’s market share climbed from 0.13% in January last year to 0.17% last month.
FCA's Jeep brand was the worst performer during January in year-on-year terms as it plunged 67.72% to 235 units.
Elsewhere in the U.K. market, registrations of petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose, up 8.5% and 23.9% respectively. However, this growth failed to offset a significant decline in demand for new diesel cars, which fell by 25.6%.