Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stated that the group would concentrate on building up its Brazil and U.S. operations to combat a feeble market in Europe as well as the poorest Italian sales in 20 years. With Brazil and the U.S. now the largest contributing markets to the combined group's profit, the CEO stuck to his goals for 2011 and 2012 regardless of the gloomy outlook for Europe.
Fiat has been managing Chrysler since a 2009 bailout agreement with the U.S. government. It owns 53.5 percent in the U.S. automaker. This figure may reach 58.5 percent by the end of the year.
Fiat, which combined Chrysler in its results starting last June, is focusing on combined sales of approximately 85 billion euros in the next year. Third-quarter results are due on October 28. Marchionne informed reporters on Wednesday that 2012 "will not be a great year" for the market in Europe, and that they need to work on fortifying their position in the United States and Latin America.
Data published on Tuesday by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association revealed that Fiat sales in Europe decreased 12 percent during the January-September period this year to 749,417 units. Its share of the market dropped to 7.2 percent from 8.1 percent in the same period last year.
On the other hand, Volkswagen's sales increased by 8.1 percent to 2.4 million. Fiat's stocks have lost almost 30 percent of their worth since the start of the year.
Marchionne stated that the weak performance of Fiat in Europe was primarily due to the weakness of the Italian market which "is reaching levels not seen in the past 20 years." He further stated that Italy has lost 700,000 vehicles since 2008, adding that for Fiat, this means a loss of 210,000 units. He also commented that, there is "no point in looking for new models."