Fiat needs Marchionne’s fixing image

While Fiat SpA finally managed to take full control of its Chrysler unit at the start of the year, the Italian automaker now needs its CEO expertise to turn it around from a money losing business.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler and of soon to be established Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has another tough task ahead – as the European operations lost in the last three years alone a 2.15 billion euros figure.

This month, on May 6, Marchionne is set to unveil an entirely new strategy for the whole group – and since the US unit is very profitable, a big part of the plan will focus on Fiat’s battered European business, where Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo are all struggling.

“His main challenge to cut losses in Europe is to improve plant capacity utilization, and establishing credibility in terms of timing and viability of the Alfa Romeo pipeline,” said Stuart Pearson at Exane BNP Paribas.

“I really hope Marchionne announces some new Fiat models – we’re feeling the heat from their competitors on all sides now in terms of both pricing and technology,” says a Mialnese dealer. “I started my career with Fiat in the 1980s, and want to keep going with them.”

Marchionne is expected to announce investments of as much as 9 billion euros to out long awaited models for the brands, as the carmaker focuses on cutting losses without closing any of its plants. Executives also hint at Fiat trimming its model range to only focus on the profitable 500 and Panda.

On the other hand, the Italian plants would be utilized to produce more Maseratis and Alfa Romeos for export, while also adding Jeep models to be sold in the region.

Via Automotive News Europe