Almost a year into its government-funded rescue, Chrysler remains a laggard in sales against the industry and analysts increasingly question if Fiat can change the game for its struggling U.S. partner.
Chrysler is expected to show the benefits of cost cuts it has undertaken and cash savings realized when it provides the first full accounting of its performance since emerging from bankruptcy in June.
But more questions than answers could still remain about Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne‘s turnaround strategy.
The jury remains out as to whether Fiat can stem the long-running slide in sales and replenish a depleted product lineup. In short, how can Fiat succeed where previous owners Daimler AG and Cerberus Capital Management walked away bruised by losses, analysts wonder.
“Every month is critical for Chrysler because now we are seeing a broad-based recovery of auto sales, which most of the companies are participating in. And yet, Chrysler remains a laggard,” said Logan Robinson, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and former Chrysler executive.
“They still have an excellent balance sheet because of bankruptcy, so I think they can sustain this for some months to come — but not forever,” Robinson said.