Jeep Sales Post Best-Ever July, Fiat Chrysler Sales Up 6%

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) reported Wednesday that July sales increased by 6% year over year to 170,970 vehicles, compared with July 2017 sales of 161,477. The Jeep brand posted a sales increase of 15% year-over-year as sales of the new Wrangler rose 14% to more than 21,000 units, and Cherokee sales soared 71% to 20,210 units.

The Ram brand of pickups and other light trucks had its best July sales ever, up 15% to 79,906 units.

The Jeep Renegade posted a sales drop of 8%, and Grand Cherokee sales fell 6%. Compass sales rose 63%. The Patriot badge is being retired, and the Compass is now Jeep’s single entry in the compact SUV market.

Analysts at Cox Automotive had projected July sales at 175,000 units, an 8.4% year-over-year increase. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) estimated an average selling price of $37,666 for July, up 0.5% year over year and up 1.3% month over month.

FCA continues to implement a strategy of reducing sales to daily rental car companies. Retail sales of Jeep-brand vehicles rose 16%, Ram retail sales rose 17% and Alfa Romeo sales jumped 65%.

The company’s Jeep brand sold a total of 79,906 units in July. The Jeep Wrangler sold 21,308 units in the month, and Compass sales rose to 12,300 units.

Ram pickup sales increased by 1% in July to 40,276 units. Last year, Ram sold 39,708 pickups in the month. The new 2018 Ram pickups began shipping to dealers in March.

Year over year, sales of the company’s Chrysler brand fell 13% as sales of the Pacifica minivan posted July sales of 8,775 units, up 6% for the month. Chrysler 200 sales fell 98% year over year in June to just 36 units. FCA continues to try to sell all dealer inventory on this discontinued model. Sales of the Chrysler 300 dropped 9% to 2,813 units.

The company’s Dodge brand sales were flat year over year in July. Dodge Caravan sales were down 3% at 7,289 units in the month. The company’s Journey compact SUV saw sales jump by 23% year over year to 8,345 units sold in July.

Alfa Romeo sales rose 65% in July, as sales of the new Stelvio pushed the total to 2,016 for the month. The namesake Fiat brand sold just 1,240 units in July, a 45% year-over-year decline.

FCA’s shares traded down about 1.6% Wednesday morning, at $16.71 in a 52-week range of $11.54 to $24.95. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $27.84.