U.S. sales of Fiats, one of the Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) brands, are so poor that the average dealer has the cars on their lots for almost five months before they are sold based on February figures. This is based on the average days to turn data from Edmunds which puts the figure at 141 days in February.
By way of contrast, the brand with the lowest days to turn is Subaru at 42 days, or less than six weeks.
One of the possible reasons for the Fiat problem is falling sales. In March, the number was down 24% to 3,422. Numbers would have been much worse without the 500X which had sales of 1,399 compared to zero last year. Comments by Fiat Chrysler management indicated they could do better:
FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500, Fiat 500L and 500X, were down 24 percent in March, compared with the same month a year ago. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. The 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth was revealed last month during the New York International Auto Show. After a thorough, in-depth evaluation by the staff at Autotrader.com, the 2016 Fiat 500X earned a Must Test Drive award in March.
The primary reason for poor sales may be poor reviews by experts. In the recent J.D. Power 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study, Fiat ranked near the bottom with 171 problems per 100 vehicles. Fiat also ranked last in the recent Consumer Reports annual evaluation of car brands
Fiat days to turn has been at or near the top of the Edmunds list, and that is not likely to change.
Methodology: Days to Turn is the average number of days vehicles were in dealer inventory before they were sold during the months indicated