Fiat Chrysler’s US performance crucial to five-year business plan

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 3, 2014

A good performance by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the United States will be crucial in the carmaker’s five-year business plan, according to FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne. FCA unveiled its business plan last month, which aims to grow globally by putting more focus on its Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

The plan envisions a 60-percent surge in sales and a five-fold hike in net profit by 2018. Marchionne remarked that FCA needs cash from Chrysler’s booming US business to be able to fund its strategy in Europe, where Fiat has been suffering from weak demand and excessive production capacity.

Chrysler was granted a government-funded bailout when it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Fiat then took control of Chrysler until it completed a full takeover early this year. The companies are being merged, with the resulting carmaker to be listed in New York by end of 2014.

According to Marchionne, Chrysler's financial strength as well as overseas commercial clout would help boost sales of Alfa Romeo. FCA is planning to spend EUR5 billion at Alfa Romeo to build eight new models by the end of 2018.

Marchionne disclosed seeing a prototype for one of the new models, saying that the carmaker is on the right track. He remarked that FCA may unveil the model in the third quarter of 2015.

Marchionne reiterated that all of Alfa Romeo’s vehicles would be sourced from its Italian sites at least until 2018. He added that he would also request the Italian government to take measures to facilitate exports like logistics and regulations, noting that he isn’t asking for financial aid. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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