The storied Chrysler brand will suffer a market share drop to less than 1% of the U.S. auto market. Its falling lineup of vehicles is among the primary reasons. Parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) has allowed the brand to be crippled, mostly by benign neglect.
According to Kelley Blue Book:
Cox Automotive analysts believe Chrysler, Ford and Jeep will continue to struggle with market share in calendar year 2017. All three brands lost share in the first part of the year. Chrysler’s product line will soon be reduced to two entries, the Pacifica minivan and the 300 sedan. At current pace, the company’s market share in the U.S. will soon drop below 1 percent.
Fiat Chrysler reported that sales of the Chrysler brand dropped 23% in the first five months of the year to 82,354. If not for the success of the Pacifica, the numbers would have been much worse.
Fiat Chrysler’s largest selling brand is also in trouble:
In the first five months of 2017, no brand lost more market share than Jeep. With heavy incentives unable to move aging product, Jeep lost more than half-a-percent of share through May of this year. The all-new Compass compact SUV will help win back sales, but will be challenged to match the pace of the older Compass and Patriot models, both of which will be discontinued.
Jeep’s sales fell 13% in the first five months of the year to 333,138. Compass sales dropped 58% to 17,435. Patriot sales were off 48% to 26,097.
The problems have dragged down Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales. In the first five months of the year, unit sales fell 7% to 880,014. The only brand that has done well is Fiat Chrysler’s truck line. Ram sales are up 8% for the period to 230,950.
The Kelley Blue Book data show just how much trouble Fiat Chrysler is in. And its competition is not flat-footed, so the problems are bound to get worse.