The month of May saw a continuation of the year-long picture for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) two Italian brands on the U.S. market as Alfa Romeo's sales surged thanks to its new model range and it has now breached the ten thousand units’ sales barrier after just five months while Fiat’s alarming collapse continued unabated as it lost almost half its sales.
In total FCA sold 214,294 cars in the U.S. last month, a rise of 11% year-on-year and Alfa Romeo contributed to that uptick as it added 2,377 registrations last month as buyers flocked to the new Stelvio and in fact the SUV was the brand’s top seller, with 1,183 units sold, edging out the Giulia sedan which recorded 1,175 units.
The Giulia’s sales were up a useful one third and three hundred units over last year although year-on-year data isn’t fully comparable yet.
Finally, the 4C added the balance of Alfa Romeo’s sales with 19 examples of the sportscar finding buyers during May but that was down 47% year-on-year.
While Alfa Romeo surged last month, Fiat declined to 1,441 units a fall of 46% year-on-year which closely mirroring its overall sales trend so far this year. Only the niche-segment 500L made any gains, it was up 13% to 184 units. Elsewhere, the drop off was shocking for the base model 500 which lost four fifths of its sales and a thousand unit as it managed to attract just 264 buyers during May. The 500X lost a fifth of its demand to 588 units while the Spider also continued to give up ground, it was down by a quarter to 435 units.
For the year-to-date FCA is on 913,212 units sold, up 4% year-on-year, and Alfa Romeo is one of its rosy performers in year-on-year terms as it’s now breached the ten-thousand-unit sales barrier, resting on 10,016 units as the fifth moneth of the year closed out. The Giulia leads the way with 5,383 units sold but the Stelvio is rapidly catching it and is now on 4,538 units while the 4C rounds the picture out with 95 sales.
Elsewhere for FCA, the Jeep brand is the Group’s big winner and continues to drive sales volumes; it was up 29% to 97,287 units in May and is now up to 408,033 units for the year-to-date. That result made it the best May's sales in the offroad brand’s history and driving that total was the Wrangler, which saw demand rise 26% to 25,102 units.
Ram was flat for May with 51,884 units and is down ten percent to 208,612 units for the year. Chrysler brand soled 14,724 units during May and Dodge 46,581 units and for the year-to-date they are on 75,146 units, down 9%, and 204,546 units, down 6%, respectively.
It was also a good month for the profit margins as during May retail sales rose 10% to 167,785 units making it the highest month of retail sales since July 2005 when 219,045 vehicles were sold. It was also the best May performance by FCA since 2004. Retail sales accounted for 78% of total sales. Fleet sales accounted for 22% of total sales, a slight uptick from 21% in May 2017.