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Jeep sales growing in Europe

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Tuesday reported an 11.2 percent increase in new vehicles sold last month in Europe, outpacing the industry’s overall growth of about 7 percent.

All four of the automaker’s main European brands increased sales compared to a year ago, with the Jeep brand posting more than 6,300 vehicles sold — more than doubling the its sales from a year ago and topping sales of its fellow Alfa Romeo and Lancia/Chrysler brands.

The Fiat brand, in terms of volume, led sales with nearly 49,000 vehicles sold. Ferrari and Maserati, the automaker’s luxury brands, combined for sales of 449 vehicles for the month.

Driving the increase for Jeep was the Renegade subcompact SUV, with February sales of just under 4,000 vehicles. The Renegade launched in Europe late last year. It’s just arriving in U.S. dealerships.

The Renegade is an important vehicle for the brand’s global growth. Built in Italy, the Renegade is the only Jeep to ever be exclusively manufactured outside the U.S. It’s also Jeep’s first subcompact vehicle.

Jeep sales totaled more than 12,200 vehicles for the first two months of the year in Europe. While significantly smaller than the brand’s U.S. sales of more than 107,000 vehicles during that same time period, its progress for the brand’s global aspirations.

For the two months of the year, Fiat Chrysler sold nearly 130,000 vehicles in Europe, an 8.6 percent increase, with market share of 6.5 percent. That compares to FCA US, the automaker’s North American operations formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC, that sold 308,593 through February in the U.S., up 9 percent.

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