Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has released its official sales numbers for the fourth quarter and for the 2019 year. Although the 2019 model year was a huge year for the Ram Truck brand, the rest of the brands were down overall compared to 2018. While the fourth quarter of 2019 was down 2% over the same period last year, the entire 2019 year was down only 1% over 2018, staying relatively flat.
Retail sales were 419,273 vehicles for the quarter. Fleet accounted for 22.7% of total sales.
Pickups played a huge part in FCA’s success in the United States this year, with launches of the redesigned 2019 Ram Heavy Duty lineup and the midsize Jeep® Gladiator pickup. “Our dealers did an outstanding job in 2019, not only with meeting consumer demand but also handling the introduction of the redesigned Ram Heavy Duty and new Jeep Gladiator,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “We have read the expectations that sales may slow a bit in 2020. However, we believe there is still plenty of demand in the market and we are ready for a new year.”
The Ram Truck brand led the way with a record-setting 190,655 vehicles for the quarter and a total of 703,023 vehicles for the year of 2019. That’s an 18% increase over 2018 and the highest sales for the brand since Ram broke away from the Dodge brand into its own stand-alone brand in 2019. Ram has continued to grow its ProMaster full-size van lineup and it has shown with a 21% increase in sales for 2019.
Jeep was the best selling brand for the brand portfolio in the United States with 923,291 vehicles, which is a decrease from 2018 however, by 5%. Leading the way for the brand, was the Grand Cherokee with 242,969 units sold and up 8% for the year. The Jeep Wrangler broke a bunch of records throughout the year, so it was no surprise that the iconic Wrangler reported its highest fourth quarter with sales of 52,012 vehicles and a total 228,032 vehicles sold for the year. The Gladiator finished 2019 with 40,047 vehicle sales following its May debut.
With its best-selling vehicle on the cutting block after the 2020 model year, the Grand Caravan led the way for the performance brand in 2019 with 122,648 vehicles out of the brand’s 422,886 total sales for the year. The Dodge Charger notched another sales record for the quarter with 25,829 vehicles for the quarter and 96,935 vehicles for the year, showing that the four-door muscle car is far from dead. Dodge Journey sales fell 21% over 2018’s numbers, with 74,686 vehicles sold for the year. Dodge Durango sales followed with an increase of 3% over 2018, with 67,599 vehicles sold, while Dodge’s current halo car the Challenger had 60,997 leave dealers in the United States during the year.
Chrysler brand sales fell 23% over last year with 126,971 units sold in 2019. Leading the way for the Chrysler brand was the Pacifica minivan with 97,705 units sold down 17% over 2018. The Chrysler 300 Series fell 37% over its success in 2018 with only 29,213 vehicles sold. The Chrysler 200 still showed up in the sales bracket for the year with 48 of the discontinued sedans sold.
The Italian performance brand of Alfa Romeo also had a decline in sales during 2019, with a total of 18,292, down 23% over 2018. The Stelvio lead the brand for the year, making up 9,444 of the total of vehicles sold for the year. Close behind was the sporty Giulia sedan with 8,704 sales for the 2019 calendar year. Alfa Romeo 4C which will continue for the North American market for the 2020 model year and has been discontinued in Europe sold 144 throughout 2019.
FIAT has struggled to gain traction in the United States, which is shown greatly in the brand’s 2019 sales which were down 49% over 2018 with only 9,200 vehicles sold for the year. Leading the way for the Italian brand was the recently discontinued Fiat 500 city car with 3,267 vehicles sold. That is down 39% over the city car’s sales for 2018. The sporty 124 Spider was the second best-selling vehicle for the brand with 2,644 vehicles sold. The recently redesigned 500X crossover also struggled with a 52% over 2018, with 2,518 vehicles sold in 2019. 500L sales proved to be virtually non-existent in the United States marketplace with only 771 units sold.
Judging by the sales numbers, unless you are a muscle car like the Dodge Charger or Dodge Challenger, the car market continues to shrink while the truck market is continuing to grow. It is no surprise, with new vehicles like the EcoDiesel-powered Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500, as well as the upcoming electrified Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that is coming this year, we expect the truck and SUV market to continue to grow in 2020.