Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV posted a 7-percent jump in global sales in 2014 to 4.75 million vehicles, growing faster than the three largest carmakers in the world. The growth was spurred by high demand for Fiat Chrysler’s Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs in the United States.
The 7-percent spurt was higher than those posted by Toyota Motor Corp. (3 percent to 10.23 million), Volkswagen AG (4 percent) and General Motors Co. (2 percent). While Fiat Chrysler’s overall volume still pales compared to the Big 3, the figure is large bonus to Marchionne’s target of selling sell 7 million cars in 2018.
According to Richard Hilgert, an analyst in Chicago at Morningstar Inc., the US and the sales performance of the new Jeep Renegade in China and South America will help gauge whether Fiat Chrysler will further grow its sales this year. He said that it has become more difficult to sustain growth this year, although another sales surge in 2015 remains possible.
“The company’s year-over-year comparisons will be a high hurdle to clear,” Hilbert said. For this year, Fiat Chrysler is targeting to top 5 million sales. The carmaker is making a EUR48 billion ($55 billion) investment in new cars, rolling out 20 of them next year.
These vehicles include the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X SUVs that will be produced in Italy, with the first Renegades bound for North America set for shipment this month.
The demand for Jeep vehicles was high in the US in 2014, with sales surging 41 percent to 692,300 units. The same thing was true for Ram, which US deliveries in 2014 jumped 28 percent to 469,100 units. Fiat Chrysler also saw global sales at its Ferrari and Maserati units more than doubled to 40,100 vehicles.