Year over year, sales rose 15% at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) in October to 195,545 units, the company’s best October sales level since 2001. The Jeep brand posted a sales gain of 33% year over year. The Jeep Compass posted a sales gain of 42%, the Cherokee posted a monthly sales gain of 12% and Wrangler sales rose 15%. All were best October sales ever.
Analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB) had projected October sales at 191,000. KBB analysts also reported that Chrysler’s average transaction price last month was $34,821, up 1.2% compared with the average price in September and up 2.6% year over year for the month.
The big news for Chrysler in October was the initial public offering of a 10% stake in Ferrari N.V. (NYSE: RACE). The sale raised nearly $900 million at $52 a share. The stock hit a post-IPO high near $61 and closed at $53.08 on Monday. Early next year Chrysler will distribute to its shareholders the other 80% of Ferrari that it owns. The son of founder Enzo Ferrari owns the remaining 10% of the new company.
Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand sold 73,561 units in October. Jeep has now set a sales record for 25 consecutive months. The company’s Jeep Patriot sold 10,191 units, up 56% year over year.
Ram pickup sales rose 3% in October to 40,931 units, after posting flat year-over-year sales in September. Last year, Ram sold 39,834 pickups in October. For the year to date, Ram pickup sales are up 3% to 371,574 units and total brand sales are up 6% to 402,237 units. Ram brands had their best October sales since 2003.
Year over year, sales of the company’s Chrysler brand rose 1%, as sales of the new Chrysler 200 rose just 2% in October to 11,905. Year to date, Chrysler 200 sales are up 83% and sales of Chrysler-branded vehicles are up 10%.
The company’s Dodge brand sales rose 12% year over year in October and are now down 12% for the year to date. Sales of the Dodge Challenger rose 24% to 5,409 units in October, and the Journey midsize crossover sold 9,525 units, up 37% compared with last year.
Chrysler projected a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales in the United States from all manufacturers at 18.5 million units for 2015, a bit higher than last month’s projection of 18.4 million. The company ended the month with 90-day supply of inventory, up from 76 days of supply at the end of August.
Fiat Chrysler’s shares traded down about 1.6% Tuesday morning at $14.65. The current 52-week range is $10.76 to $17.08.