Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne lifted his outlook for the European new-car market

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne revised his outlook for both the European new-car market this year and for Fiat's global sales. In April, Fiat had forecast a 15% drop in total market sales in 27 EU markets plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. But now, Marchionne said that Fiat expects a fall of about 10% to 13.25 million. Industry association ACEA said that in 2009, European sales had dropped 1.6% to 14.72 million.

In a conference call last Wednesday, Marchionne told analysts that the carmaker is "seeing light at the end of the tunnel." He added that commercial vehicles are recovering. Marchionne's new prediction is in line with other major European automakers, which had predicted a sales slide of between 7% and 10% in 2010.

Buoyed by a stronger than expected European market, Fiat now anticipates being able to sell over 2 million vehicles globally this year. Last year, Fiat sold 2.15 million units worldwide. For 2010, it had previously predicted 1.93 million sales. With regards to the Brazilian market, Fiat expects a 2% growth this year, after posting a 3.2% increase in sales for the first half with 1.2 million units.

Fiat hopes to keep its no. 1 position in Brazil, where it holds a 23.3% market share in passenger car and light commercial vehicle sales. For the first six months of the year, Fiat's global sales increased by 2.7% to 1.09 million units. Passenger car sales decreased by 2.5% to 891,000 units, while light commercial vehicle volume climbed 36.2% to 194,000. [via autonews]

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