Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is scheduled Wednesday for its traditional first-quarter financial results conference, but the hype surrounding it could revolve around a hinted plan to lift profit and margins.
More importantly, the seventh largest automaker in the world said this Monday it would report to its shareholders the “operational initiative” updates concerning North America and the company’s “view on industry capital optimization” – though it eschewed giving specific details on what the phrases mean. The importance of the statements will be revealed Wednesday, but speculations are already arising – mainly because they greatly concern North America and the US market, an important profit generator for the company that has been loosing ground elsewhere – including Fiat’s home base of Europe or the traditional stronghold of Latin America. Most likely chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne will discuss how the company intends to progress with the crucial point of boosting North American earnings margins, with the automaker reportedly in the middle of assessing several strategies.
The top manager has also talked extensively in recent months about the need for further consolidation across the auto industry between the global automakers, fueling the speculations that would see FCA enter a merger or at least an alliance with a larger peer to lower the cost of capital investment and development. Still, on numerous occasions senior managers from GM, Ford or PSA have rebuked speculation they would ally, merge or purchase Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – though Marchionne seems intent on finding a partner before he retires after 2018.