The Stelvio should help Alfa Romeo sell a ton of cars.
Fiat-Chrysler has been in the news for some less than ideal reasons lately. FCA sales have been slipping, and dealerships have accused the company of lying about the figures. Fiat even tried to ship slow-selling models to dealerships that didn't order them. The sales figures for October 2017 are in, and FCA doesn't have too much to be happy about. Compared to the same time last year, nearly every FCA brand saw a drop in sales. The lone brand that saw an increase compared to last year was Alfa Romeo, which finally has an SUV to sell.
The sales drop continues FCA's down streak of 14 months. Sales fell to 153,373 vehicles, which is down 13 percent compared to 2016. Each brand saw decreased sales compared to last year, with Jeep down 3 percent, Chrysler down 22 percent, Dodge down 41 percent, Ram down 3 percent and Fiat down 33 percent. The only brand to see a sales increase over 2016 was Alfa Romeo, which sold 1,205 vehicles this month. The Italian brand only sold 23 vehicles last October, so that's a 5,139 percent jump. Alfa Romeo is still the lowest volume FCA brand, but these figures show that the Italian automaker is on its way to becoming a volume seller, rather than a boutique company. These sales are clearly spurred on by the Stelvio SUV.
Last year, Alfa Romeo only had the 4C sports car to sell. Alfa Romeo is counting on the Stelvio to be a sales hit as inventory starts to arrive at dealership. Alfa Romeo sold 434 Stelvios in October, but sold 726 Giulia sedans. We expect that by November the Stelvio will overtake the Giulia in sales due to the popularity of SUVs. FCA did have a few individual models that saw sales increases. The Ram pickup increased by 7 percent, the Jeep Compass increased 81 percent, and the Cherokee increased 19 percent. FCA expected the recently redesigned Compass to set sales records, and it looks like the small crossover is on its way to being one of the company's hottest-selling models.
The FCA turnaround is definitely happening slowly. With all of the news surrounding a possible FCA merger with Volkswagen, it seems like the company must do something big to get out of its current slump. Unfortunately, new crossovers like the Jeep Compass and Alfa Romeo Stelvio aren't turning the ship around fast enough. Now may be the right time to do something major to help increase sales.