Sales of Fiat, one of the brands of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU), dropped to below 3,000 units in the United States during March, as the number three American car company continues to struggle with its worst performing unit. March sales totaled 2,922, down 5% from March 2016. For the first three months of this year, sales fell 11% to 7,231.
At the granular level, the situation was even worse in March. Sales of the 500L dropped 80% to 106. Sales of the 500X dropped 31% to 726. Partially offsetting those, sales of the new Spider reached 419. The model had no sales last year. Sales of the base 500 rose 12% to 1,671.
It has become harder and harder for Fiat Chrysler to justify support of the Fiat brand in the United States. Reviews of the brand’s quality have been very poor, particularly among major research firms such as J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. In the most recent J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, Fiat ranked last among all brands measured with a score of 739, against an average among all “mass market” brands of 807. General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Buick finished first in the category with a score of 874. Fiat also finished next to last among all brands in the recent 2016 Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.