Marchionne Sees 2013 Auto Sales in Europe ‘More or Less’ Like 2012 image

Today, January 30th, Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne said that he expects this year sales in Italy and Europe to be ‘more or less’ like in 2012.

Marchionne, who is Fiat and Chrysler’s CEO, is also the resident of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Last year demand for new cars dropped to a 17-year low in the crisis-bound Europe, forcing automakers to quickly find solutions to cut excess factory capacity and hope that this year’s sales will be enough for them to avoid bankruptcy. Marchionne said that this year, sales will be ‘more or less’ in line with those from last year.

Today, Marchionne is expected to report 2012 earnings and analysts expect Fiat to miss its debt target, making it harder to pay for the automaker’s ambitious expansion and increase its stake in Chrysler. Over the past 30 years, Fiat’s share price has surpassed rivals such as Peugeot and VW, mainly due to hopes that the Italian automaker will purchase more Chrysler shares or even succeed in the full-scale merger.

“We do not believe Fiat will reach its net industrial debt guidance due to overproduction in Europe in the fourth quarter,” Commerzbank wrote in a preview note. “We are concerned by the high net debt pile which limits Fiat’s options with regard (to) Chrysler and future investments.”