Fiat Chrysler Automobiles acknowledged on Tuesday that its “streak” of year-over-year monthly new-vehicle sales improvements since April of 2010 actually ended nearly three years ago.
In response to recent press reports that raised questions about the manner in which FCA reported vehicle unit sales data on a monthly basis, the automaker explained its new methodology showing that its “streak” of year-over-year monthly sales gains would have stopped in September 2013 with the OEM sustaining a 3-percent drop.
OEM officials noted they would have posted sales dips last August (down 1 percent) and May of this year (down 7 percent), as well.
“The so-called ‘sales streak’ would have stopped in September 2013 (after 40 months) and would have had three additional periods of sequential year-over-year improvements of 22, 8 and 1 month(s),” FCA officials said.
Despite the potential discrepancies, the automaker emphasized its annual sales volumes under the new methodology for each year in the 2011-2016 period are within approximately 0.7 percent of the annual unit sales volumes previously reported.
FCA indicated the monthly adjustments to previously reported sales are a result of the adjustment to deduct sales later unwound and add back sales attributable to previously unwound sales over the period Jan. 1, 2011 to June 30 of this year, and are a mix of positive and negative numbers that did not exceed 0.5 percent of the reported data in any month. The maximum numerical reduction from previously reported data was 770 units (0.5 percent of the month’s volume) in May 2015 and the maximum numerical addition to previously reported data was 437 units (0.4 percent) in September 2014.
The OEM added the total over the 2011 to 2016 period representing unwound transactions previously reported as sold for which vehicles remain in dealer stock at June 30 of this year is approximately 4,500 vehicles, or 0.06 percent of the total volume reported over the period (7.7 million vehicles).
FCA added that it will report its July sales using the new methodology.
“This note is intended to explain how FCA US’ monthly sales reporting process has worked, recognizing the limitations inherent in a process that collects sales data entered by some 2,600 dealers until midnight of the last reporting day of a month and releases the aggregate data typically within eight hours of the final data entries,” the automaker said in its announcement.
“FCA US believes that its current process has been in place in more or less the same form for more than 30 years, with reporting previously being made every 10 days and eventually evolving into monthly cycles,” the company continued.
The automaker’s complete explanation of its new-vehicle sales reporting process can be viewed here.