Fiat chairman: 2012 results will be better than 2011 image

Italian carmaker Fiat is expected to post better results in 2012 than in 2011, Fiat chairman Lapo Elkann told news magazine Panorama.

Even though car sales in Italy have slumped to levels of 40 years ago, the Fiat executive is optimistic about the carmaker’s outlook.

“We expect to close 2012 with better results than in 2011,” Elkann said in the interview. Elkann defended Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne’s decision to cut back investment in Italy because of the economic crisis. Italian unions and industry groups have strongly criticized this decision.

“Our competitors continue to launch new cars and they are really suffering. Fiat has always found itself on its knees when consumption falls. For now, for the first time ever, this hasn’t happened, precisely because of our careful way of managing investments,” Lapo Elkann was quoted as saying by Panorama magazine.

The executive added that Fiat, which also controls Chrysler, “is on solid footing and is profitable in the U.S., Brazil and Asia”. “Up until now we don’t have any problem of an economic-financial nature thanks to the growth of activity of Fiat-Chrysler in the world,” he added.

He also said models that had been scheduled for launch in 2013 have been put on hold.