Fiat plans to raise Chrysler ownership from 58.5% to 61.8%, as Chrysler will reach $3 billion in operating profits this year.
“Chrysler sold 1.23 million cars in the first half, which is over half of our target,” Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters in Milan. “The objective of $3 billion is close at hand. We could overshoot it.”
Marchionne added that Chrysler’s sales for the first half of 2012 are up 30% compared to last year, but production still needs to be expanded. Until now Chrysler added new jobs and expanded production in the US and included a third shift at its Belvidere facility where it manufactures the new Dart compact.
Fiat controls Chrysler since 2009, as part of the $12.5 billion government bailout so save the Auburn Hills automaker from bankruptcy. Fiat has the possibility to acquire by 2016 an additional 20% of Chrysler which is currently held by the trust fund Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, which is administered by the United Auto Workers. Marchionne said that he plans to fully merge the two companies and is willing to offer around 200 million euro ($252 million) for the additional stake.