Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the recently merged company that forms the world’s seventh largest automaker, has reported its financial numbers for 2014 and revealed that its European division ended posting losses in the fourth quarter.
Now the company is mulling positive results from across all regions, after the sustained growth in North America and the recovering position in Europe offsetting losses in Latin America. While expecting profit from all important regions, FCA faces deep challenges ahead – as it strives to increase revenue from the North American region and fund an ambitious business strategy that also includes massive investments in the rejuvenation of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands. Now, the company has posted a profit in Europe during the fourth quarter for the first time since 2007. “In 2015 … we should see black numbers across all regions,” commented Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, though he did caution “I’m not opening any bottles of champagne.”
FCA believes its capital expenditure in 2015 will rise to 9.5 billion euros ($10.77 billion), with the group investing much of it to develop and produce new models for the luxury Maserati, sporty Alfa Romeo and rugged Jeep brands. The automaker has been under pressure last year, with North America operations bringing in just over half of the company’s overall profits and revenues. The company still needs to lift its 4 percent operating profit margin in the region – which lags far behind what General Motors and Ford post. The situation could improve this year, according to Richard Palmer, FCA financial director, due to lower recall costs and a level cost base.