Stellantis reports a decline in U.S. sales but makes gains in EV sales
Stellantis reported Wednesday that U.S. new vehicles sales in the fourth quarter declined 16% to 347,669 vehicles sold, making six consecutive quarters of sales dips, compared with the year-ago period.
For the full year, sales also plummeted 13% compared with 2021 to 1,547,076 vehicles as the automaker struggled against the industry's various supply shortages that have limited production.
But sales of the company's plug-in hybrid electric vehicles increased 26% year-over-year and 21% in the fourth quarter compared with the year-ago period, Stellantis said.
The automaker is on course to have half of its sales mix be EVs by the end of the decade, it said. Jeep has announced plans for fully electric offerings in coming years, with vehicles such as the Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S slated for production in 2024.
“We saw strong demand for our (plug-in hybrid) offerings in the face of industry market conditions that carried across 2021 into 2022, including production constraints and a disruption of parts and materials in general, which adversely affected our overall sales,” U.S. Head of Sales Jeff Kommor said.
Ivan Drury, Edmunds.com senior manager of insights, said 2023 will be a turning point for Stellantis.
"Stellantis has been in a state of flux for a while now with one foot stuck in the future and one in the past; they're lineup is a blend of old designs with new ideas," Drury said. "Some models bring quite a bit of nostalgia, but might be a hard sell when stacked up against more modern competitors. That said, 2023 should put an end to the state of limbo by ushering in more electrification and by very bluntly selling 'last call' vehicles that helped Stellantis soldier on with aging but tried-and-true platforms."
Sales of the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe increased 46% last year over 2021. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, which Stellantis introduced to the market late last year, accounted for 11% of the nameplate’s sales.
"As we look to 2023 and navigate the industry transformations that are occurring, we will continue to work closely with our customers to meet their demands and the needs of our dealer network," Kommor said.
For the quarter, sales of the Jeep brand dropped 18% to 143,317. Chrysler sales were down 39% to 25,052. Fiat sales plummeted 56% to 118 and Alfa Romeo was down 25% to 3,031. Even sales of the Ram pickup fell 15% to 129,873. But Dodge saw a gain of 15% to 46,278. The company did not provide numbers for Maserati, the only other Stellantis brand sold in the United States.
For the year, Jeep sales declined 12% to 684,614 and Ram brand, which includes vans and pickups, was down 16% to 545,194. The Ram pickup sold 468,344, falling short of the Chevy Silverado, which sold 523,249 units for the full year. Chrysler sales dipped 2% to 112,713. Dodge was down 12% to 190,795. Fiat sales fell 61% to 915 and Alfa Romeo declined 30% to 12,845.
But average transaction prices at Stellantis for the full year were forecast to rise 6.4% to $55,362, according to TrueCar.
General Motors also reported its quarterly and annual sales Wednesday. In the fourth-quarter GM's U.S. sales rose 41%. For the full year, GM's new vehicle sales in the U.S. rose 3% to 2,274,088 new cars sold compared with 2021, keeping Toyota North America from stealing away the sales crown. A large part of GM's gains came on replenishing inventory of pickups and SUVs. Ford reports its results Thursday.
Toyota reported it sold 2,108,458 cars for the year, a 9.6% decline from the year-ago period, with electrified vehicles making up nearly a quarter of the carmaker's total sales volume. For the fourth quarter, Toyota's sales rose 13.1%.
"Sales are on pace to finish higher than a year ago for the fifth consecutive month with inventory improving steadily," said Zack Krelle, industry analyst at TrueCar. "As we head into the new year, the industry shows signs of reverting to old customs."
That means the price markups dealers tacked onto new cars last year will be reduced and incentives will be slowly added with a larger proportion of sales allocated to rental fleets, said Krelle, adding those are "all normal indicators after what has been an abnormal few years."
A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the full Ram brand sales figure for the year as a comparison with the Chevrolet Silverado pickup full year sales. The correct Ram pickup sales number is 468,344 putting it behind the Silverado in annual sales.
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(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the full Ram brand sales figure for the year in comparison with the Chevrolet Silverado pickup full year sales. The correct sales number for the Ram pickup is 468,344 putting it behind the Silverado in annual sales.)
Contact Jamie L. LaReau: email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan.
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