FCA plans important changes for North American factories image

Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show the automaker would soon announce some major changes to its North American production footprint.

Speaking to reporters at the Detroit Auto Show, FCA’s Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has revealed the company will bring significant changes to its North America production lines, with further details to be announced as part of the company’s quarterly financial results at the end of January. Marchionne said the plan is for the automaker to adapt and to respond to customers’ high demand for big SUVs, pickups and crossovers. He also ensured that such changes will not affect jobs and will not lead to any plant closing. “In view of the way that the market has shifted in the US, in what we consider to be a permanent change… these things are going to set the tone for the way in which we allocate products moving forward,” he said. It is likely for the shift plan to be focused on where models are manufactured, but Marchionne did now want to comment on the possibility of moving some US output to Mexico. Apart from more details on the matter, the company’s future statement is expected to also bring some updates on its five-year plan.

Marchionne has set himself a more than ambitious target of erasing 7 billion euros (7.65 billion dollars) in debt and more than tripling net income to about 5 billion euros by 2018. “Ambitious is not really an adequate word to describe it; ‘Fantasyland’ might be more appropriate,” Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd., said in a report. “We would dearly love to see Marchionne leave on a high, but right now it’s hard to envisage quite what the glorious exit to this extraordinary career is going to look like.”

Via Reuters/Bloomberg