- Stellantis' sales rose 32% in the quarter but are not back to pre-pandemic levels yet.
- Stellantis, usually a big spender, slashed incentives by a third.
- Stellantis’ average transaction price rose to a new high as did the average transaction prices for some brands, models.
Stellantis reports second-quarter 2021 financial results Tuesday, Aug. 3. Formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA (Peugeot) Group early this year, Stellantis posted higher U.S. sales in the quarter, though its increase was less than the overall market. Still, Stellantis, usually a big spender, slashed incentives by a third and experienced new highs for average transaction prices overall as well as for some brands and models individually. At the same time, the automaker took production hits from the chip shortage, with some of its plants down for months.
Here are key data points from Cox Automotive on the second-quarter performance in the U.S. market for the former Fiat Chrysler arm of the business that derives most of its revenue and profits from North America, particularly the U.S.
Sales and Market Share
Stellantis’ total sales for its half-dozen brands in the U.S. posted sales of 485,312 vehicles, up 32% from a year ago. It was the next lowest sales volume for a second quarter since at least 2015. Stellantis underperformed the overall market, which had sales up nearly 50%. That pushed Stellantis’ market share down to 11%, a decline of 1.4 percentage points. Stellantis’ highest volume brand, Jeep, accounted for most of the decline in share.
Jeep sales were up 19% to 210,439 units, its next lowest second-quarter sales in the past six years. Its market share dipped to 4.8%, down from 6.0% a year ago – its highest.
Jeep is launching important new models to move the brand more upscale. The new models are: a redesigned Grand Cherokee; the addition of the Grand Cherokee L with three-row seating; the Wagoneer; and the Grand Wagoneer.
For the quarter, the Wrangler was Jeep’s highest-volume model with sales up 22% to 69,020 units. Wrangler’s highest Q2 sales were in 2018 when it surpassed 77,000. But this quarter’s sales are in line with pre-pandemic Wrangler sales. The Gladiator pickup had the biggest gain, up 53% to nearly 30,000 units, its highest sales since it was introduced. The Grand Cherokee, in sell-down mode to make room for the new version, was up 14% to 52,726, the brand’s second-best seller but still below 2018 and 2019 levels.
Plants in the U.S. and Mexico that make Jeep’s entry models have been idled for months due to the chip shortage. The so-called cheap Jeeps are lower volume, lower profit margin and had bloated inventories going into the chip shortage. Still, the Cherokee was able to post a sales gain of 26% to 29,235 units, still far off its high of more than 63,000 in Q2 2018. The Renegade had a 21% gain from a year ago; its Q2 sales were half of what they were in the same quarter in 2016. The Compass dropped 23% to about half of pre-pandemic levels.
Ram sales rose 47% to 187,750 units. The truck-van brand is not back to 2019 levels but was ahead of comparable quarters before 2019. Ram’s market share was 4.3% almost even with a year ago and ahead of the comparable quarters before 2019. Full-size Ram pickup sales rose 47% to 187,750 units for its second-highest sales since at least 2015. Ram capitalized on the high demand for delivery vehicles with its two cargo vans – ProMaster and ProMaster City – posting triple-digit sales gains.
Chrysler brand, hampered by the long shutdown of the minivan plant in Windsor, Ont., Canada, due to the chip shortage, posted a 36% sales gain to 18,900 units. Despite the rise, it was still the second-lowest sales for Chrysler, which six years ago sold nearly 90,000 units in a quarter. Chrysler’s market share was .4% from .5% a year ago. In Q2 2015, Chrysler brand’s market share was 1.9%.
The brand is down to two models. The Pacifica minivan, which hit an inventory low of 22 days’ supply, yet still posted a 20% sales gain to 13,229 units. That’s still far off the high of nearly 35,000 in Q2 2018. The aged 300 sedan had sales more than double but on a small volume of 5,668 units. That compares to a second-quarter high of nearly 14,000 units in 2016.
The Dodge brand had a 42% increase in sales of 62,314, its second-lowest in the past six years. The brand, which has been downsized in terms of model line and focused strictly on performance, used to sell more than 100,000 units in a quarter. Dodge’s share was 1.4%, down a .1 percentage point from a year ago. Dodge’s highest market share for the quarter was 3% in Q2 2018.
The volume-leading Charger posted a 95% gain to 22,363 units, putting it back into pre-pandemic levels of sales. Challenger sales rose 52% to 15,052 units, almost to 2019 levels but not to pre-2019 levels. The Durango SUV had a 53% sales increase to 17,885 units, putting it back into pre-pandemic territory. The rest of Dodge models have been discontinued and are in sell-down mode.
Alfa Romeo sales rose 34% on a low volume of 5,018 vehicles, its highest sales volume since the comparable 2018 quarter. Alfa’s market share held at .1%, where it roughly has been for some time. Stelvio sales rose 38% to 2,756 units, making it the brand’s top seller. The Giulia had a 31% gain to 2,219 units.
Fiat barely sold anything – 891 vehicles – less than 300 a month. That was down 34% from a year ago and a far cry from the nearly 9,500 it sold in the second quarter of 2015. Fiat sales were so low, it registered a zero-percent market share. The 500X kicked in 403 sales; the 124 Spider had 396 units sold.
High demand and low inventories from the chip shortage allowed Stellantis, typically one of the biggest spenders, to slash incentives by a third to an average of $3,568 per vehicle, the lowest amount spent for a second quarter since 2015. Incentive spending for Ram, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge was slashed by double-digit percentages to their lowest levels since the second quarter of 2015.
Ram cut incentives by 34% to an average of $4,589 per truck/van. Jeep incentives fell 39% to an average of $2,647 per vehicle. Chrysler was down 24% to $4,422. Dodge dropped 26% to an average of $3,207. Fiat’s incentives dipped about 1% to an average of $3,154 per vehicle, about where it has been for the past few years.
Only Alfa Romeo raised incentives, by 15% to an average of $5,396 per vehicle, the highest level spent since the brand returned to the U.S. market.
Average Transaction Prices
Stellantis’ average transaction price (ATP) hit a new high of $48,170, up 11%. Several brand and individual models also hit new highs.
Average Transaction Prices
Jeep’s ATP was up 11% to $44,486, its highest for any second quarter. It was driven by a 16% gain in the Wrangler’s ATP of $51,066 and Gladiator, up 10% at $51,420 but off from its more than $55,000 high of 2019.
Ram’s ATP rose 9% to $55,099, its highest for the quarter. It was driven by an 11% gain in Ram pickup trucks’ ATP, which set a record of $57,760.
Dodge’s ATP climbed 12% to $42,002, its highest by a wide margin. The Durango fueled the increase, up 12% to a new high of $48,563. The Charger gained 6% in ATP to $41,164. Challenger’s ATP rose 5% to $42,286.
Chrysler’s ATP climbed 9% to $41,849. Fiat’s ATP rose 10% to $29,509 due to the higher ATP on the 124 Spider. Alfa Romeo’s ATP held roughly steady at $47,139.