Today Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced a 10 percent decline in February sales versus 2016. The decline isn’t that surprising as the company is in the process of weaning itself off of unprofitably fleet sales. While there were a few bright spots in the FCA sales slide, one that does stand out is the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Last month the relatively modest number of Alfa Romeo dealerships in the U.S. moved 412 Giulia sedans. February technically marks the fourth month that Giulia has been on the FCA sales chart, though November and December constituted a mere trickle as the hot new sedan arrived ashore from Italy. Clearly February is the first month there has been a reasonable supply of the car as in January Alfa only moved 70 Giulia copies.
The news portion of the February sales numbers lie in two areas of the Giulia. The first is the fact that the Alfa Romeo dealership base is fairly small compared to rivals such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and, in particular, Cadillac. The other element is that Alfa launched the car in Quadrifoglio form first, which carries a $72,000 starting price.
To be fair, the cars German rivals sold significantly more. In fact, 412 units sold is a mere 10 percent of BMW 3 Series sales last month. However, Alfa Romeo is a new brand to the U.S. (again) and is starting from scratch.
It is going to be interesting to watch Giulia sales as 2017 continues and the brand gains inventory of the Giulia and Giulia Ti, which are powered by the more modest 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and start at $37,995.
In total, FCA’s February sales came in at 168,326 units. Aside from Alfa Romeo and RAM, every FCA brand saw a sales decline last month.