Fiat brand to still focus on Europe for profit image

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ambitious five-year business plan presented two days ago called for most of its brands to go global, the Fiat namesake brand is a little more modest, with its focus set on the European region.

CEO Sergio Marchionne has presented the company’s intent on boosting the sales in the EMEA region (Europe, Africa and Middle East), considering a total growth of 27% to 1.5 million cars by the end of 2018, but its mainstream Fiat brand would see little of the growth, as it focuses mainly on Europe.

As we all know, the European region is just now tentatively exiting a six years slump in demand, with a slow and painful growth – as incentives eat into profit – and the increases are mainly driven by just a bunch of countries.

“There is no miraculous recovery in the European market,” said CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Instead on focusing on growing sales, the core Fiat brand is going to search for increased margins and profit – just 610,000 Fiats are forecast to be sold this year, while in 2018 the tally should go up to 730,000 cars. The 1.5 million EMEA plan should be accomplished by increased sales of the Jeep brand – which should go from around 80,000 to 270,000 vehicles – and an expected Alfa Romeo recovery – taken from 70,000 to 150,000 units.

The modest rise “clearly reflects our cautious approach,” said Fiat brand chief Olivier Francois. “There is no easy fix. We are all realizing that notwithstanding Fiat’s great European history, things have changed.”

Before increasing volumes, CEO Marchionne seeks a return to profitability in the battered European operations, as Fiat SpA lost over the last three years no less than 2.15 billion euros – and forecasts to come up even in 2016.

Via Automotive News Europe