Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne expects the Italian carmaker to post higher earnings in the first quarter of 2014 amid “strong” demand this month for Chrysler in the United States. Marchionne remarked while its operations in the US are doing well, the Brazilian market is “choppy.” He also expects Fiat’s European operations to post lower losses this year even with further spending in new models.
Fiat took full control of Chrysler in January 2014 as part of Marchionne’s strategy to combine them into a global carmaker large enough to take on the likes of General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. In 2013, Fiat posted EUR618 million ($860 million) in earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items, also known as trading profit. “My gut feeling is, we’re going in the right direction,” Marchionne said.
He is expecting the combined company, which will eventually be named Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV once approved by, may sell 5 million vehicles in 2016. Marchionne is set to unveil a business plan on May 6 that details new models and financing once the Fiat-Chrysler merger is completed later this year. “It’s been a very hard job to get all the pieces of the mosaic together and have a global view in the end,” Marchionne said. “You’ll finally get to see what I’ve had in mind in May.” [source: Bloomberg]