Fiat will rely on growth in Asia and the Americas to make up for the weak European market.
“I don’t think we’ll need to change our targets over all,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said at a shareholders’ meeting. “The geographical distribution could change, given the performance of Europe.”
Marchionne said that while Asian, Latin American and North American markets are growing, the European market is expected to drop for the sixth consecutive year due to the governments’ austerity measures. In February unemployment in Europe increased a record 12% and auto sales in Italy dropped 19.8% in 2012 and are expected to further fall this year.
Fiat will present the full-year 2013 target on April 29th when it will also report results for the first quarter, but Marchionen said the forecast for this year will not be changed. In 2012 Chrysler, Fiat’s US unit, reported earnings before interest and tax of 2.7 billion euro, helping the Italian automaker offset the loss of 738 million euro in Europe.
The Italian car maker expects to sell between 4.3 million and 4.5 million vehicles this year and reach profit between 88 billion and 92 billion euro, although some analysts doubt the European market will fall only 2% this year.