Fiat’s U.S. comeback is not in order image

Despite rising hopes as Fiat’s US dealerships this summer finally got a new model to sell – the 500L – ultimately the new version so far has failed to increase the Italian brand’s local sales.

Factory figures that were revealed to US dealers show that only close to 45 percent of Fiat dealerships are actually earning money. The problem is even bigger, as most of them share some of the costs with the Chrysler Group dealerships, meaning even a smaller percentage would be actually making a profit if taken as stand-alone businesses.

On average, a US Fiat dealership delivered around 17 cars each month this year, which compares to the usual Chrysler Group dealership’s 64 units. Actually, for a better perspective, Fiat’s annual sales are roughly on par to what the Chrysler Group forecast from the beginning. CEO Marchionne, who also leads the US unit Chrysler, predicted in 2010 that Fiat would  reach sales of around 50,000 units per year in North America.

“I think most dealers have been disappointed in the performance of their Fiat dealerships,” said Alan Haig, president of automotive services for Presidio Group, a San Francisco financial services company that brokers dealership sales.

After a 24% decline in sales registered this September, Fiat’s brand deliveries are actually flat – 32,743 – as they were through the first nine months of last year. Demand has dipped even after the arrival of the 500L subcompact hatchback and the addition of more Fiat dealerships.

Via Automotive news