Fiat Chrysler Sales Slide 13 Percent in October

FCA's numbers are in line with automaker's plan to cut low-margin sales to car rental agencies.


Fiat Chrysler joined General Motors in posting a drop in October sales, adding credence to analyst expectations that the prior month's large jump in U.S. sales would lose steam.

FCA on Wednesday reported a 13 percent decline in sales last month, with the automaker's sales to consumers off 4 percent and fleet sales plummeting 43 percent, in keeping with the automaker's plan to cut low-margin sales to auto rental agencies.

FCA has focused on selling more SUVs and pickup trucks, helping boost its profit margin in North American 8 percent in the third quarter.

"FCA's decline was still largely on its regional production realignment, with Jeep's sales declines easing," commented Stephanie Brinley, senior automative analyst at IHS Markit, in a research note.

The Jeep Compass recorded its best October sales yet, with sales up 81 percent, compared with the same month a year ago, the company said. Jeep Cherokee sales were up 19 percent in tallying its best sales month so far this year, while Jeep brand retail sales increased 3 percent year over year in October, compared with the same month a year ago.