FCA US LLC, the US wing of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., on Thursday posted retail sales of 2018 — the highest in the last 17 years. The Italian-American auto giant also posted December US sales jumping 14% to 196,520 vehicles.
While retail sales for the month rose slightly to 151,077 vehicles, fleet sales hit 45,443 vehicles — accounting for 23% of total sales during December.
The Jeep Wrangler was the champion for the month and the year. Wrangler hit record December sales of 19,800 vehicles and full-year sales of 240,032. The earlier full-year sales record was 202,266 set in 2015.
For the year, US retail sales hit 1,760,488, the highest level since 2001. Total US sales rose 9% to 2,235,204.
“This year’s performance underscores the efforts we undertook to realign our production to give US consumers more Jeep vehicles and Ram pickup trucks,” Head of US Sales Reid Bigland said.
“We see sales remaining solid in 2019 and we look forward to expanding our vehicle portfolio with the addition of the much anticipated Jeep Gladiator,” he added.
Jeep brand sales soared 10% to 80,449 vehicles in December. For the year, sales jumped 17% to a record 973,227 vehicles.
Ram brand sales spiked 37% in December to 68,195 vehicles. For the year, sales hit a new record of 597,368 vehicles.
Muscle brand Dodge saw December sales rise 17% to 32,528 vehicles. For the year, Challenger sales rose 3% to 66,716, a new record for the model.
Despite rest of the brands above doing well, Alfa Romeo December sales fell 4% to 1,946 vehicles. Alfa Romeo’s 2018 annual sales, however, rose to a record 23,820 — almost twice as much as the brand sold in 2017.
The winding-down of the Chrysler 200 and the Town & Country saw Chrysler sales fall. For December, sales fell 28% to 12,425 vehicles. Over the year, the brand saw demand softening.
Namesake brand Fiat also saw December sales dip 44% to just 997 vehicles. However, the brand finished 2018 with 15,521 vehicle sales.
Earlier in the day, rival General Motors (GM) also posted its fourth-quarter sales numbers. The top line fell 2.7%, sending automaker shares down more than 2% in the first half of the day.