ST. PETERSBURG – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stops selling Fiat cars in Russia, choosing to focus instead on building the Chrysler and Jeep brands and Fiat-branded trucks.
The automaker in early July suspended deliveries of its Fiat 500 hatchback, the last model in the Fiat range in Russia.
Although FCA cites slow sales in announcing the end of Fiat sales in Russia, deliveries through May totaled 622 units, up 17.8% year-on-year, according to WardsAuto data. Jeep sales in the year’s first five months dropped 21.2% to 827 units, while Chrysler sold only in single digits.
Fiat sales, however, tumbled 53.1% in 2016 to 2,159 units after falling 43.2% in 2015. Jeep fared worse, declining 38.3% in 2016 to 1,269 units after plummeting 75.0% in 2015. Fiat outsold Jeep every year from 2012 to 2016 with the exception of 2014, when Jeep tallied 8,221 sales to Fiat’s 8,102.
A spokesman for Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade, attributes FCA’s difficulties to the automaker’s conducting of business in the country along the lines of how it operates in Europe. He does not elaborate.
FCA’s current share of the Russian market is 0.2%, but the automaker hopes Jeep and Chrysler sales will pick up as the country’s economy continues improving and consumers’ purchasing power grows.