As Sales Flatline, Fiat Chrysler Launches New Dealership Blitz: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
as sales flatline fiat chrysler launches new dealership blitz report

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles rocketed out of the recession with year-over-year U.S. sales increases, eventually erasing the sudden deficit of buyers that led to its bankruptcy. Between 2009 and 2015, the resurgent automaker went from a measly 931,402 U.S. sales to a healthy, cash-generating 2,243,907.

Those gray skies sure did clear up. Happy days!

Now for last year’s sales tally: 2,244,315. Notice something unusual? That’s right, FCA tacked on just 408 sales in 2016 compared to a year prior. While sales growth can’t be counted on like the rising and falling of the sun, especially in a market that has reached a tentative plateau, it’s nonetheless concerning for FCA. The sales juggernaut sits idle in the water, yearning for headway.

Is the automaker’s problem simply that there aren’t enough places to buy Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram and Fiat vehicles?

With about 2,500 dealerships scattered throughout the union, most would answer that question with a solid “no.” However, that isn’t stopping FCA from adding an extra 400 dealers to its network, Automobile News reports.

Two dealer sources, as well as one within the company, claim that the expansion is already underway in several markets, including Houston. The new dealer push is all about protecting FCA’s market share, they claim. One remarked that the extra dealers were needed five years ago.

The automaker hasn’t confirmed the plan.

FCA’s fourth-quarter earnings report, released this week, painted a less-than-rosy picture for the automaker. Its share of the U.S. market fell to 11.3 percent by year’s end — a loss of 1.5 percent compared to third-quarter results. General Motors, Toyota and Ford loom far ahead.

For FCA, more presence from an expanded dealer network is as good an idea as any.

[Image: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jan 29, 2017

    This was an interesting article. There was a nearby Chry/Dodge/Jeep store that opened in 2008, lasted about 12 months, closed up, and became a Kia store under a totally different ownership group after a year sitting empty. Now another owner group is building a new Chry/Dodge/Jeep store nearby.

  • Zackman Zackman on Jan 30, 2017

    "Is the automaker’s problem simply that there aren’t enough places to buy Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram and Fiat vehicles?" Perhaps that's the case, or is the reason for flat sales is that their products are junk, and buyers are wise to Chrysler? I have no bone to pick with Chrysler, but I'll never buy another one, even though I was a customer for over 20 years. Why? Fear. Fear of failing transmissions, bad engines (although I haven't heard of any for years), and just poorer all-around quality compared to everyone else, etc, etc. Maybe I'm wrong...

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