Fiat Chrysler registered a sharp fall in yearly sales compared to its competitors during the last year of 2020. However, the Q4 2020 numbers have helped it reduce the fall with retail sales picking up well.
The Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) reported a 17% drop in sales in 2020 compared to its previous year of 2019. The latest Fiat sales drop comes on the backdrop of the tough year for the automobile industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the rest of the industry saw around a 15% drop in sales, the FCAU Group numbers are more concerning.
The automaker sold over 1.8 million vehicles in 2020 across its six brands. However, only two of its models – Jeep Gladiator and Alfa Romeo Stevalio recorded year-over-year gains. Interestingly, the sales weren’t quite bad for Q4 2020 reporting a loss of 7.9% quarter-over-quarter.
“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,” said Jeff Kommor, Fiat Chrysler’s head of US sales.
Fiat Chrysler said that the decline was majorly due to the drop in sales to commercial fleet customers. the company said that the fourth-quarter sales to retail customers actually surged a bit, by 1%. The company, however, has declined to release its sales numbers.
Fiat Chrysler Shareholders Approve Merger with PSA Group amid Falling Sales
In an interesting development, shareholders of Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and PSA Group have given a go-ahead for a merger between both companies. The merged entity shall be named Stellantis, thereby making it the world’s fourth-largest automotive group. As per Yahoo Finance, the deal will finalize by January 16.
The newly merged entity shall be based out of Netherlands with operation in Italy, France, and the US Stellantis will employ nearly 400,000 people across 14 automotive brands. As reported by the publication:
“The merger will enable the companies to share the cost of developing EVs, thus achieving cost efficiencies. Reportedly, the alliance is projected to provide about 5 billion euros, or $6.1 billion, in annual cost savings to the companies. The combined company will boast an impressive presence in North America’s lucrative truck and SUV segments, giving the French automaker an access to the American market while reducing its dependence on Europe”.
On the other hand, Fiat Chrysler will invest $250 million for expanding its SUVs offering under the Jeep brand over the next two years. FCA currently has less than 1% share in India’s passenger vehicle market. The new vehicles will help it increase local sourcing of components thereby achieving better scale and reducing costs. “Our new investment of $250m will give us a competitive edge in multiple segments,” Partha Datta, managing director for FCA India.
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