Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has released its second-quarter sales numbers for the U.S. marketplace. The company sold 367,086 vehicles, which is a 39% decline over the same period a year ago due to the economic havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the month of April. The numbers were partially offset by the stronger than expected retail sales rebound in the months of May and June.
“This quarter demonstrated the resilience of the U.S. consumer,” said Head of U.S. Sales Jeff Kommor. “Retail sales have been rebounding since April as the reopening of the economy, steady gas prices, and access to low-interest loans spur people to buy. Our fleet volume remained low during the quarter as we prioritized vehicle deliveries to retail customers. As a result, we have built a strong fleet order book, which we will fulfill over the coming months.”
According to the report, fleet sales were impacted in the quarter as customers initially delayed or reduced their orders, as well as the shut down of the company’s manufacturing facilities during that time.
This quarter also marked the first time that customers could purchase their vehicles entirely online with FCA’s new Online Retailing Experience (ORE). ORE is accessible through the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo websites, participating dealer sites and a variety of social media applications. Customers simply click on the link to begin the process. The report also says that 20% of new sales leads now come from online retailing, a 19% increase over last year’s numbers.
The Jeep® brand had a total of 176,716 vehicles sold during the second quarter. This was a decrease of 27% over the same time period last year. Leading the way for the brand was legendary Wrangler with 56,463 units sold. The Grand Cherokee also had a strong quarter despite being down 29% from where sales were last year.
Of course, the Ram brand also felt the decline due to production shutdown and many dealers closing their doors during stay-at-home orders. However, the Ram brand lead by the Ram 1500, Ram 1500 Classic, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 did better than expected. The pickup lineups ended up selling 117,448 units of dealer lots during the quarter, despite being off by 35% of the numbers from the same time last year.
The Chrysler brand managed to sell 13,856 units during the second quarter. This was lead by the Chrysler Pacifica, despite a decrease of 56%. Since the pandemic, Chrysler has quietly released a few new appearance packages for its 300 Series and an all-new all-wheel-drive package for its 2020 Chrysler Pacifica, so sales should pick up in the third quarter.
FCA’s performance brand struggled during the stay-at-home period. Only 43,757 units left dealer lots during the second quarter. Leading the way for the brand was the Dodge Durango, showing that even with an updated model on the way, the three-row SUV can still perform well. Close behind was the beloved Dodge Charger sedan.
The Fiat brand has been struggling even before the pandemic in the U.S. marketplace. So it was no surprise to see the Italian brand down 54% during the second quarter. Leading the way for the brand was the sporty 124 Spider, a particularly good choice considering that summer is here.
Alfa Romeo Brand:
The pandemic stole some thunder from the Alfa Romeo brand, which had just launched its updated 2020 Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. The updated vehicles added loads of new safety features and technology to the award-winning premium duo. The Stelvio lead the way for the brand once again, with 2,002 units leaving dealer showrooms.
It will be interesting to see if U.S. sales continue to pick up as production continues despite the pandemic continuing on. Now, that production volumes are being restored and that dealers are reopening their showrooms with caution, automakers like FCA have announced some good rebate programs on various vehicles to lure more customers back to dealers.
Source: FCA US