If you’re looking for someone or something to blame for falling new-vehicle sales in July, look no further than one of the world’s biggest automakers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the reason sales dropped 3.2 per cent last month.
“The July drop is nearly all attributable to a 33-per-cent year-over-year plunge in Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) sales which, at 15,715 units sold, recorded their worst month since early 2014,” Juan Manuel Herrera of Scotiabank Economics wrote in the financial institution’s auto newsflash.
Excluding FCA, Canadian new-vehicle purchases rose by 0.8 per cent in July.
Nearly every FCA brand, including the venerable Jeep and Ram nameplates, suffered declines of more than 22 per cent.
Only the small-volume Alfa Romeo, with 92 vehicles sold in July, and Chrysler, with 492 sold last month, increased sales.
Sales numbers for the remaining brands were as follows:
- Fiat — 49 vehicles sold (-52.9%)
- Dodge — 3,031 vehicles sold (-45.6%)
- Jeep — 6,190 vehicles sold (-37.1%)
- Ram — 5,789 vehicles sold (-22.8%)
FCA has posted 14 consecutive months of year-over-year sales declines for both cars and trucks, Herrera said.
The drop in car sales is parallel to that experienced across most automakers and is in line with shifting consumer preferences, he said.
Trucks comprised 69.8 per cent of the market in July compared with 68 per cent last year, according to the Global Automakers of Canada.
“The fall in FCA truck sales, however, is seemingly endemic,” Herrera said.
Light truck volumes for FCA have fallen by 12 per cent through July when compared with the first seven months of last year. Meanwhile the remaining automakers have managed a 6.9 per cent increase in light truck sales during the same time period.
Ram was the second highest-selling vehicle in Canada in 2017, but so far in 2018, FCA has sold 17 per cent fewer Ram trucks relative to the same period last year, according to Scotiabank data. FCA has also been hit by fading demand for the aging Dodge Caravan minivan.
Scotiabank now forecasts automakers to sell two million vehicles in 2018, down about two per cent from the record 2.04 million sold in 2017.