FCA was supposed to sell 7 million cars in 2018 based on the latest plan revealed in May 2014. As expected, the company will not meet that target, which was revised in 2016. By that time it was clear that Marchionne was being too optimistic or had a merger in mind. Today the company is still looking for someone to get married as its global sales still lag behind the big auto makers. The good news is that FCA is expected to increase its deliveries in 2018.
My own estimates show that FCA will be able to grow in sales volume in 2018 by 6,3% compared to 2017. Its global sales are expected to reach 5,12 million units by the end of the year, which is 300.000 more cars than in 2017. The total is the result of a forecast made by model and market, based on several variables such as each models’ life cycle situation, the forecast by country, and the possible restylings and new launches.
I was particularly ambitious with the forecasts for the latest models, or the ones that are supposed to hit the markets in the coming months. Even if their numbers are high, especially in the case of the Jeep Compass and Ram Pickup, the forecast is realistic and takes into account the reality of global economies and not what I think the company should be selling.
My own estimates indicate that FCA sold 4,82 million cars in 2017. The drivers of growth in 2018 will be Jeep and RAM, both posting double-digit increases and boosted by the arrival of new cars, such as the Jeep Compass, the updated Cherokee, and the all-new Ram Pickup. Alfa Romeo will also contribute to higher volumes, as well as Maserati. In the opposite side there will be Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler and Lancia with negative changes.
As the new launches will mostly hit American market, a big part of the growth in 2018 will come from NAFTA region, with USA’s volume increasing by 5,7%. But the strongest growth will come from Brazil, where the economic situation is improving, and China, where Jeep will consolidate its position. Argentina, Mexico and India will also show very solid results in 2018.
The bad news will come from EMEA region, where we expect to see a double-digit fall in the UK, France and Germany. Italy will remain as the second largest market for FCA, but will also record a drop. The reason for this negative result is explained by the fact that the company won’t have any important launch in 2018, and the current top-sellers get aged. In fact the Fiat 500 in Europe, and the Fiat Panda in Italy will drive the fall this year.
Once again, it didn’t meet its target, but FCA will continue to grow in 2018. The company will benefit from its latest launches which will impact four of its top 5 markets: USA and Canada, Brazil and China. The best thing of the growth is that it will come from profitable segments like SUV and Trucks, so the company is likely to close 2018 with higher revenues and profits. The bad news is that we continue to see the same pattern of previous years: the positive side of the company continues to be Jeep and Ram brands, and growth is still limited as the company launches very few new cars each year. With 5 million units sold, FCA is still far away from VW Group, Toyota and Renault-Nissan.