Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US in Auburn Hills sold 499,431 vehicles in the fourth quarter and 1,820,636 vehicles in 2020. This was an 8 percent decline in sales for the quarter, while full-year sales dropped 17 percent.
Most of the decline came from a falloff in fleet orders, specifically rental car companies, which continue to see a reduction in business travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic in March, FCA reported a 10 percent decline in first-quarter sales.
Apart from fleet activity, retail sales in the fourth quarter rose 1 percent due in large part to the Jeep, Ram, and Alfa Romeo brands.
“The work undertaken by our dealers was nothing less than heroic given the challenges they faced (in 2020),” says Jeff Kommor, U.S. head of sales at FCA. “The fourth quarter provided a strong springboard heading into 2021. Looking ahead, we anticipate an exciting year that will include a variety of new vehicles.”
Production of the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX began in December at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. The Wrangler 4xe began production in December at the Toledo Assembly Complex. The Ram brand had its best month of retail sales in December since the brand launched in 2010.
Year-over-year sales of the Jeep brand decreased 14 percent to 795,313 units. Ram saw a decrease of 11 percent for the year to 624,642, and Chrysler saw a decrease of 13 percent to 110,464. Fiat saw the biggest decrease – 53 percent to 4,303 units sold – followed by Dodge, which sold 267,328, a drop of 37 percent.
The Jeep Gladiator reported a year-over-year increase for the quarter as total sales rose 23 percent to 20,552 vehicles. For the year, Gladiator sales increased 94 percent to 77,542 vehicles. Alfa Romeo finished the year with quarterly sales of 6,093 vehicles, an increase of 23 percent, and full-year sales of 18,586, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Alfa Romeo was the only brand with an increase in sales year-over-year.
“The economic indicators are pointing in the right direction for the start of 2021,” Kommor says. “Gas prices remain low, housing remains strong, and consumers have access to credit.”