Stellantis sales fall in first quarter as more Jeep plants face downtime
Total U.S. sales of the maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks dropped 14% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year as supply-chain challenges continued to crimp inventories.
Stellantis NV sold 405,221 vehicles in the first three months of the year as retail sales dropped 13%. Commercial shipments were up by the same percentage. A global semiconductor shortage and other component constraints have halted production at plants on and off again over the past year.
And the supply challenges continue: Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit that produces the two-row and three-row Jeep Grand Cherokees will be down next week along with Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, home of the Jeep Cherokee, because of a lack of microchips.
With Detroit's Jefferson North Assembly Plant also down for retooling next week, that means the automaker will not be producing its most popular Jeep at all — which was one of the few highlights for the first quarter. Jeep's sales dropped 2% year-over-year, but Grand Cherokee's were up 36% after its fifth generation launched last fall, making for its best first quarter ever. The Mexico-built Compass, which was refreshed last year, saw a 22% increase in sales.
All of Stellantis' brands had sales fall year-over-year. Despite its 7% pop in commercial sales, Ram was down 15%. Chrysler fell 27%, Dodge dropped 36% and Alfa Romeo decreased 29%. Fiat sales fell 58% overall, but the only vehicle still in production for sale in the United States, the 500X crossover, did see growth of 26%.
Stellantis also highlighted the performance of its electrified vehicles. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S, according to the company, accounted for 18% of total Wrangler sales. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was 16% of the minivan's sales.
“Despite being impacted by the existing supply chain constraints facing our industry, we continue to see strong demand for our vehicles," Jeff Kommor, U.S. head of sales for the automaker, said in a statement. “Our dealer network continues to demonstrate great flexibility as we balance and prioritize these demands in offsetting market conditions."