Jeep Sales Skid 11% in March, Down 7% in Q1

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) reported Tuesday that first-quarter sales decreased by 3% year over year to 498,425 vehicles, compared with first-quarter 2018 sales of 514,769. Sales dipped 7% year over year in March, from 216,063 units to 200,307.

The Jeep brand posted a quarterly sales decline of 7% year over year as sales of the new Grand Cherokee rose just 8% to 57,749 units and Compass sales dropped 14% to 37,306 units.

The Ram brand of pickups and other light trucks saw a first-quarter sales jump of 21% to 137,013 units. For March, Ram sold 51,822 units, up 15% compared with March 2018 sales.

Ford and General Motors no longer report monthly sales. GM reported first-quarter sales this morning and Ford will announce its first-quarter sales results on Thursday. FCA is the only one of the Detroit Three that continues to report monthly sales.

Autotrader Executive Analyst Michelle Krebs commented:

This year was expected to be a more challenging one than 2018 for Fiat Chrysler, and that is being borne out in March. Only Ram brand sales rose, and they got a boost from the heftiest incentives among truck brands. Jeep sales dropped, up against some tough comparisons from last year. And Fiat? Well, with every passing month of lower sales, its future in the U.S. must be questioned.

Ram-brand pickups sold 45,187 units in March, a year-over-year jump of 9%. For the quarter, Ram pickup sales rose 15% from 103,964 in 2018 to 120,026.

Chrysler brand sales fell 32% year over year to 31,591 units in the first quarter, and Fiat brand sales tumbled 45% to just 2,214. For the month of March, Chrysler sales are down 38% and Fiat sales have plunged 45%.

Alfa Romeo brand sales dropped 26% in the quarter to 4,286 vehicles, while March sales dropped by 31%. The bump from the company’s new Stelvio is now well and truly in the rear-view mirror.

Dodge brand sales fell 6% for both the month and the first quarter. March sales totaled 46,367 units and quarterly sales dipped to 110,517 units. Sales of the Journey rose 30% and Caravan sales fell 18%.

FCA’s shares traded up about 0.4% Tuesday morning, at $15.30 in a 52-week range of $14.01 to $24.41. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $22.75.

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