Fiat, the faltering Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) brand, suffered a U.S. sales drop of 42% in February. The brand sold only 1,241 units during the month. The performance was better than the year to date. For the first two months, sales were down 43% to 4,270.
It is a wonder Fiat Chrysler continues to support the Fiat brand in the United States.
Fiat suffers from two problems. One, which might be reversible eventually, is a horrible reputation for quality. Fiat ranked last among 34th among car brands sold in the United States in the most recent Consumer Reports car brand evaluation. This put it in last place. The methodology:
Our brand rankings by Overall Score are based on CR’s exhaustive vehicle testing, as well as owner feedback on more than 640,000 cars to determine the predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.
Brands are ranked based on the average Overall Score for all of their current tested models. The Overall Score is a composite of the road-test score and the predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings from our Annual Auto Survey.
In the new J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, Fiat ranked third from the bottom among 31 brands. The methodology:
The 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 36,896 original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded in October-December 2017.
The problem Fiat cannot affect is the level of crowding in the low price, high gas mileage segment of the car industry in the United States.
For the time being, based on its model lineup and quality problems, there is no reason to think that Fiat’s prospects will improve this year.