Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported that its U.S. sales for January 2017 registered an 11-percent decline compared with sales during the same period last year. FCA US LLC sold 152, 218 units last month, which is almost 20,000 units less than January 2016. This development is in line with the automaker's continued strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment.
Fleet sales had a 31-percent year-over-year reduction in sales in January. For the said month, fleet sales accounted for 28 percent of total FCA US sales. The company had flat retail sales during the month at 109,350 units, which represented 72% percent of total January sales.
FCA's Ram Truck brand posted a 5-percent increase while pickup truck is 4-percent up. Its three Jeep brand vehicles had a stellar month with Jeep Renegade sales up 52 percent while Jeep Grand Cherokee recorded 24 percent increase. Fiat 500 boasted of a 24-percent sales increase.
While the Dodge brand recorded sales gains in January, FCA's muscle car Dodge Challenger failed to attract more buyers. FCA sold just 3,393 samples which is 40 percent less than the January 2016 figure. The muscle car segment is won by Ford Mustang which delivered 5,046 units.
The car manufacturer's worst performer was Fiat 500L which only delivered 106 units, down 70 percent from previous year's 357 units. Fiat 500X was also disappointing with 42 percent fewer sales.
FCA is not alone in experiencing a plateau in auto sales. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors (GM) Co. also reported lesser January U.S. sales with 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent reductions, respectively. The Detroit Three all reported hefty losses in passenger cars but Ford, GM, and FCA delivered positive sales in utility vehicles such as crossovers, SUVs, and pickups.
Most foreign automobile brands in the U.S. including Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and Mazda had a good business in January. Surprisingly, Toyota did not meet the expectations of industry analysts, with an 11-percent sales drop.