Fiat Puts on Hold New Auto Sales Target image

Fiat did not offer a sales target for the 500L, the latest model in the 500 range, due to the unpredictable situation in Europe.

“There’s no sense talking about targets,” said Gianluca Italia at a news conference held late Thursday to show off two new variants of the 500L, a bigger version of the 500 aimed at families. “The market is what it is. Just look at the volumes.”

Auto sales in Italy, which is Fiat’s biggest market in Europe, have reached the lowest level in 20 years due the long recession. New vehicle registrations in Italy have dropped 10.31% during the first half of the year and 11% in France in the same period. Alfredo Altavilla, CEO for Fiat in Europe, said that he does not see the market recovering this year and that is why Fiat has begun to focus on exporting new models for the premium brands, such as Alfa Romeo.

Fiat relies on Brazil and its partner Chrysler in the US to provide its profits. Last year, when the 500L was launched, the automaker set a sales goal of 110,000 to 150,000 units for 2013. Now, Mr. Italia did not confirm this goal. Since September 2012, the 500L sold 75,000 units in Europe and in June 2,400 units, up 32.6%.