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FCA: Sales tumble 10% in Dec.; Ram brand posts only gain

Jeep sales fell 6.4 percent in December, despite monthly gains from four of the six vehicles in its lineup. Photo credit: DAVID PHILLIPS

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales fell 10 percent in December, with only the Ram brand, including pickups and commercial trucks, posting a sales gain.

December marked the fourth consecutive monthly loss for the once-strong Jeep brand in its largest global market.

The automaker said it had 192,519 unit sales in December, with fleet sales accounting for 19 percent of the monthly total.

Ram was the lone bright spot last month for FCA, with its sales up 10 percent for the month. Ram pickup sales climbed 15 percent, and sales of the full-size ProMaster van rose 13 percent, offsetting a 56 percent drop in sales of the smaller ProMaster City commercial van.

Jeep off

Jeep sales fell 6.4 percent in December, despite monthly gains from four of the six vehicles in its lineup. Sales of the Patriot -- which ended production in December and is being sold down -- dropped 37 percent, while sales of the Cherokee fell 34 percent.

Dodge sales skidded 21 percent last month, with only the Challenger and Journey posting gains.

Chrysler sales declined 32 percent. Notably, total minivan sales, including the Dodge Caravan, dropped 23 percent, despite the automaker’s introduction in 2016 of the Chrysler Pacifica.

Fiat sales continued their long slide, dropping 54 percent last month.

The company said it ended the month with 583,169 unsold vehicles in inventory, an 82-day supply.

2016 totals

For the year, FCA said its sales eased 0.4 percent to 2,244,315.

For the year, Jeep brand sales in the U.S. climbed 6.1 percent to 926,376, its fifth consecutive annual record, and were expected to set a new global record as well. Ram was the only other brand to post a sales increase for the year, up 11 percent.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com -- Follow Larry P. on Twitter: @LarryVellequett

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