Chief executive Sergio Marchionne is expected to deliver today his plan for the newly made Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, aiming to turn the new business into a healthy one with support and expansion from the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands.
FCA is expected to put the emphasis on building Jeeps in China and Brazil, and also invest billions of euros in a long awaited bid to return the ailing Italian brand Alfa Romeo to its former glory.
The global setup is definitely hard, especially since the CEO is expected to unveil a five-year business plan that should make the group ready to tackle the giants of the industry. So far, after long awaited investments and amid a European car slump that lasted nearly six years, the group repeatedly missed sales targets, lost market share and took its main European business into losing money territory.
“Fiat Chrysler has got to stop saying they will do it and just do it,” said Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at researchers IHS Automotive. “We are waiting for the execution.”
The Jeep brand, with full global recognition and with all of its models in the fast growing SUV segment is the first good bet to boost global sales, improve margins and gain a truly global manufacturing presence – with production slated for China, Europe, US, or Brazil.
The European business meanwhile hinges on the capability to revive the battered Alfa Romeo brand and position it upmarket to join the thriving luxury market – a move already looking successful at Maserati, which doubled deliveries and tripled profit last year.