Fiat SpA, which announced plans today for a primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange for the newly created FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), forecast a 9.4 % increase in Chrysler Group shipments as it leans on the US unit for profit.
A full year of the new Jeep Cherokee, replacing the lackluster Liberty, and the redesigned 200 sedan should help strengthen Chrysler in segments where it has had weaker products. Fiat said it expects to ship 2.8 million Chrysler vehicles this year, compared with 2.56 million in 2013.
Chrysler remains a source of profit for Fiat. The company, which bought full control of the US automaker last week, today reported 2013 earnings of 943 million euros ($1.29 billion) excluding one-time items. Without Chrysler, the company would have had a loss on that basis of 911 million euros, according to its statement.
Marchionne, 61, wants to transform Fiat into a manufacturer with the scale to challenge the likes of General Motors and Volkswagen in global auto sales. Fiat, which owned 58.5 % of Chrysler before to the full takeover this month, relies on the US business for profit because of losses in Europe amid a six-year car-market contraction in the region.
A three-year business plan will be presented in May outlining spending of as much as 9 billion euros to end losses in Europe with the introduction of upscale models, as well as to fund an expansion in Asia. Fiat’s Europe losses narrowed to 50 million euros in the final three months of 2013 from a deficit of 120 million euros a year earlier, aided by cost cuts as deliveries fell 5 %.