Again bad news coming from Italy. In May the whole market falled 14.3% with sales of 147.102 units against 171.559 of May/11. Economic crisis and high prices of gas continue to affect negativelly Italian’s will of buying new cars. Nevertheless the overall fall May 2012 is the best performance in the whole year after even worse months in Jan-Apr/12. It does not mean that the trend is changing but it means it is more or less stabilizing. Of course Fiat-Chrysler Group is feeling the bad results. Unlike what happens in the USA, the group continues to see bad numbers and May was not the exception eventhough the total number of registrated cars falled less than the whole market allowing to have a better market share. In the last month the whole group quota rised to 31.6% more than the result obtained in 2011 when it was 30.57%. In other words Fiat is suffering the car industry crisis but not as much as its competitors (especially Ford). It is good news in a bad context.
The rise of F-C’s market share is explained by excellent performance of Fiat Panda during May/12. A total of 12.813 new Pandas were registrated, 27.5% of the 46.500 units sold by the whole group. The Panda has had the best market share (8.7%) since May 2009 when it reached 8.8%. It has been also the best month of the year for the small car and it grows 6.2% compared to May 2011. The rise on the whole group’s market share is also explained by the good results of Lancia Ypsilon, which was up 15.1% on an annual basis. Other models that did quite well were the Alfa Rome Giulietta, +3.1%, Fiat Freemont, up 239% (it was introduced one year ago) and Jeep Grand Cherokee, up 278% from 47 to 178 units. But all these good results were not enough to offset the bad performance of Fiat Punto (-26.4%), Fiat 500 (-19.5%), Lancia Delta (-36%), Lancia Musa (-40.5%), Alfa Romeo MiTo (-41.9%), and others. Certainly the fall of Punto is dramatically affecting the group’s results. B-segment is Italy’s biggest one and Fiat seems to postpone and postpone the arrival of new generation making buyers to move to other brands such as Toyota or Peugeot (the new Yaris was up 31.4% and new 208 begins to like Italians). In the case of Fiat 500, total sales were down but it had its best month during the year and is still far away from its new feared rival, the VW Up! that seems to finally take off with 1.224 units delivered. It is also important to mention that Alfa Giulietta sold more units than its eternal rival, the VW Golf: 3.473 vs. 3.116. The lack of a Station Wagon for the C-segment Alfa does not allow to obtain much better numbers as this kind of body type is really appreciated in Italy (in May they had a market share of 8.4%). The VW Golf had a spectacular fall of 44.8%. All brands falled: Fiat was down 9.8%, Lancia (-10.1%), Alfa (-20.8%), Jeep (-13.6%). The luxury ones had the deepest fall, Maserati (-86.6%) and Ferrari (-58.6%), explained mostly by the superbollo tax that affects considerably expensive cars.
May 2012 leaves two main conclusions: Italian car market will not stop dropping for long and new models of the Group (Panda, Ypsilon, Giulietta, Freemont, Grand Cherokee) are doing their best to compensate the fatigue of old Punto, Bravo, Delta and MiTo. But this situation is unsustainable and if new generations are not coming, Fiat will see its home market share to drop dramatically.