DETROIT — Whereas different mainstream auto manufacturers head for sliding U.S. demand this 12 months, Jeep is rolling out new fashions to buck the pattern and convey 16 straight months of gross sales declines to an finish.
Fiat Chrysler Vehicles’ most respected model is launching an all-new model of its iconic Wrangler SUV within the first quarter, adopted shortly by a refreshed Cherokee that was revealed this week on the Detroit auto present.
“If I don’t develop volumes with these alternatives, then we’ll be sitting and having a distinct dialog subsequent January, gained’t we?” Mike Manley, the top of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep and the Ram manufacturers, mentioned in a telephone interview final week on the even of the Detroit auto present.
The bolstered Jeep lineup ought to assist enhance the automaker’s North American deliveries 5 p.c this 12 months, in accordance with Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, who sees each Basic Motors and Ford Motor Co. poised for a drop.
Progress could be a welcome change for Fiat Chrysler: U.S. gross sales have declined each month since August 2016 after the corporate killed a number of struggling automobile fashions. Discounted deliveries to fleet clients fell to 19 p.c of complete U.S. gross sales final 12 months, the bottom stage since 2001, the corporate mentioned.
Optimism that new Jeeps and a redesigned Ram 1500 pickup might reverse the destructive gross sales pattern has helped enhance the Italian-American automaker’s shares, which have risen about 30 p.c to date this 12 months.
The shares may go greater nonetheless as buyers turn into extra conscious of Fiat Chrysler’s environment friendly transition to the brand new Wrangler and Ram fashions, Barclays’ Johnson mentioned. The Jeeps are going into manufacturing at re-purposed factories, so output of the present fashions gained’t be misplaced within the course of.
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