GM, Fiat Chrysler U.S. auto sales decline in 2019

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-04 02:11:01|Editor: yan
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CHICAGO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Giant automakers General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) both reported vehicle sales decline in 2019 for the U.S. market, data released on Friday showed.

GM's U.S. vehicle sales decreased 2.3 percent last year compared with 2018, including a 6.3 percent year-over-year drop in the fourth-quarter.

GM said it sold 2,887,046 vehicles in 2019, including more than 1 million crossovers for the second year in a row, an increase of 12.7 percent for the utility vehicles compared with 2018.

Sales for the company's Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands were flat or slightly up, while the company's largest brand, Chevrolet, declined 3.8 percent.

Most notably, sales of the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado were down by about 2.6 percent, including a 7.5 percent drop for its heavy-duty pickup models.

Production and sales of the heavy-duty pickups were hurt by a 40-day strike by the United Auto Workers union that ended in October and as well as a changeover of the pickup to a redesigned model.

"We've focused our resources on what our customers want -- crossovers and trucks -- and that has paid off," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of GM U.S. Sales Operations.

FCA's U.S. vehicle sales for the fourth quarter were 542,519 vehicles, down 2 percent, while sales for the year were down 1 percent at 2,203,663 vehicles.

The Ram brand led the portfolio with record-setting sales of 190,655 for the quarter and 703,023 vehicles for the year -- an 18 percent increase over 2018. It was the highest level of sales since Ram became a standalone brand in 2009.

Jeep Wrangler, which notched a variety of records throughout the year, reported its highest fourth quarter with sales of 52,012 vehicles. Grand Cherokee reported a full-year record with sales of 242,969 vehicles.

Dodge also bucked the trend in passenger cars by turning in one of its strongest years as the Charger notched record sales of 25,829 vehicles for the quarter and 96,935 vehicles for the year.

"We have read the expectations that sales may slow a bit in 2020. However, we believe there is still plenty of demand in the market and we are ready for a new year," said Reid Bigland, head of FCA U.S. Sales.