Jeep, Ram Push FCA December, Full-Year Sales Higher

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) reported Thursday that December sales increased by 14% year over year to 196,520 vehicles, compared with December 2017 sales of 171,946. The Jeep brand posted a sales increase of 10% year over year as sales of the new Wrangler rose 45% to 19,800 units and Compass sales jumped 46% to 12,745 units.

For the full year, total U.S. sales rose 9% from 2.06 million in 2017 to 2.24 million. Fleet sales accounted for 21% of all 2018 sales.

The Ram brand of pickups and other light trucks saw a sales jump of 37% to 68,195 units. For the full year, Ram sold 597,368 units, up 7% compared to 2017 sales.

Analysts at Cox Automotive had projected December sales at 190,000 units, a 10.5% year-over-year increase. Kelley Blue Book estimated an average selling price of $40,028 for December, up 4% year over year and up 0.8% month over month.

Retail sales totaled 151,077 vehicles, up slightly year over year in December. Fleet sales accounted for 23.1% of December sales, down from 24.6% in November. For the full year, retail sales topped 1.76 million, the highest total since 2001.

Ram brand pickups sold 60,155 units in December, a year-over-year jump of 34%. For the full year, Ram pickup sales rose 7% from 500,723 in 2017 to 536,980.

Chrysler brand sales fell 28% year over year to 12,425 units in December and Fiat brand sales tumbled 44% to just 977. For the full year, Chrysler sales are down 12% and Fiat sales have plunged 41%.

Alfa Romeo brand sales dropped 4% in December to 1,946 vehicles, while full-year sales nearly doubled. The new Stelvio accounted for the majority of those sales, with 12,043 vehicles sold in the year. Alfa sales rose 98% for the full year to 23,820.

Dodge brand sales jumped 17% to 35,528 units in December. Sales of the Journey rose 27% and Caravan sales rose 46%. For the full year, Dodge sales rose 3% to 459,324 units, with about a third accounted for by the new Caravan.

FCA’s shares traded down about 1.1% Thursday morning, at $14.17 in a 52-week range of $14.01 to $24.95. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $25.38.