China’s New Import Rules are killing Maserati & FIAT Sales

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has cut production at Italian factories building Alfa Romeo and Maserati cars after new Chinese import rules hit sales, according to union sources. Sales of Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles have fallen significantly in China since authorities introduced new rules on relationships between dealers and carmakers, FCA told unions. Among other changes, the new regulations ban automakers from imposing stock on dealerships.

Chinese shipments of the Giulia and the Stelvio which started this spring have fallen significantly after a brisk start. Alfa delivered to 1,006 Stelvios to Chinese dealers in June, 2,666 in July and only 227 in August. Maserati followed the same pattern, shipping an average 350 Levantes in July and August, down from a monthly average of more than 800 in the first half.

FCA’s sales targets for the Levante, Giulia, and Stelvio may have been too high, according to Felipe Munoz, Global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics market researchers.

Alfa Romeo will sell between 130,000 and 140,000 units in 2017 based on sales to date, he said. These may not meet the target but it is still “an excellent result,” Munoz said. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year that Alfa Romeo will sell 170,000 vehicles this year including the Giulietta sedan, Mito small hatchback and 4C coupe and roadster.

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