Jeep Sales Jump 20% as Fiat Chrysler April Sales Rise 5%

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) reported Tuesday that April sales increased by 5% to 184,149 vehicles, compared with April 2017 sales of 176,176. The Jeep brand posted a sales increase of 20% year over year, as sales of the new Wrangler jumped 58% to nearly 30,000 units and Compass sales soared 227% to 11,521 units.

The Jeep Patriot showed a year-over-year sales decline of 98% and the Renegade posted a sales drop of 10%. Grand Cherokee sales fell 12% and Cherokee rose 20%. The Patriot badge is being retired, and the Compass is now Jeep’s single entry in the compact SUV market.

Analysts at Cox Automotive had projected April sales at 175,000 units, a 0.7% year-over-year decrease. Kelley Blue Book estimated an average selling price of $36,754 for April, down 1.6% year over year and up 0.8% month over month.

FCA continues to implement a strategy of reducing sales to daily rental car companies. March fleet sales accounted for 22% of the month’s sales, or about 40,500 units. April retail sales were down just 1% despite two fewer selling days and one less weekend than last year.

The company’s Jeep brand sold a total of 82,641 units in April. The Jeep Wrangler sold 29,776 units in the month, and Cherokee sales rose to 16,887 units.

Ram pickup sales declined 9% in April to 39,252 units. Last year, Ram sold 43,321 pickups in the month. The April decline came on top of a 14% drop in February sales and an 11% drop in March. The new 2018 Ram pickups began shipping to dealers in March.

Year over year, sales of the company’s Chrysler brand fell 18%, as the new Pacifica minivan posted April sales of 10,180 units, down 2% for the month. Chrysler 200 sales fell 97% year over year in April to just 95 units. FCA continues to try to sell all dealer inventory on this discontinued model. Sales of the Chrysler 300 dipped 1% to 3,913 units.

The company’s Dodge brand sales rose 4% year over year in April. Dodge Caravan sales rose 21% to 11,880 units in the month. The company’s Journey compact SUV saw sales jump by 39% year over year to 11,638 units sold in April.

Alfa Romeo sales rose 173% in April, as sales of the new Stelvio pushed the total to 1,847 for the month. The namesake Fiat brand sold just 1,404 units in April, a 45% year-over-year decline.

FCA’s shares traded up 0.2% Tuesday morning, at $21.86 in a 52-week range of $10.16 to $24.95. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $32.13.

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