Fiat Chrysler CEO hopes for big 2013 image

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, has said in an interview with Reuters that 2013 will be a big year for the two companies.

In 2013, Alfa Romeo will return in the United States, a new range of Chrysler products will be launched and Fiat and Chrysler will be merged into one company. “The big year for us, for a variety of reasons, is 2013. The most substantial portion of the product portfolio renewal will happen in 2013,” Marchionne said. 2013 will also bring several revamped Jeep models, including the possible revival of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer nameplate. Alfa Romeo’s relaunch in the United States will attempt to build on Fiat’s return to U.S. in 2011 with the 500 mini car.

However, Marchionne says the Fiat 500 American launch has not gone well. “To be perfectly blunt, the launch was poorly executed because we had a car way earlier than distribution was available. We launched too early. It would have been a better launch in January 2012 than in January 2011,” Marchionne said.

He added that it is possible that Chrysler will have an initial public stock offering in 2013, as the United Auto Workers union seeks to reduce its shareholdings. Fiat now owns more 53.5 percent of Chrysler, with the rest owned by the retiree healthcare trust affiliated with the UAW.