Marchionne, the Chief Executive Officer of newly established Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is confident the company would survive missing some or even all of the targets he laid down last week through a five-year business plan.
After Marchionne, who was also announced to stay on board as CEO to at least see through the new strategy, made public the targets laid down for the various brands among the group, many analysts and experts, but also investors, became increasingly weary of the possibilities to achieve all the proposed objectives.
“The targets are the targets. But even if I miss it by 10 percent, from where I am today, it’s like (the) midget and the Jolly Green Giant,” said Marchionne.
The humorous mention involves a well-known US advertisement that uses an animated Green Giant character to promote a General Mills brand of canned and frozen vegetables.
“People think I do these plans for the benefit of the capital markets. That is the irrelevant portion of the pitch. The exercise of leadership requires the setting of some pretty bold objectives. The house needs direction. The plan is a structure that provides direction. So don’t quibble about whether I sell 400,000 Alfas or I sell 382,000.”
The company’s shares dropped significantly – 13.5% – after the reveal the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles goal is to ultimately raise global sales from 4.4 million in 2013 to 7 million in 2018, while also achieving a more important – five times – increase of the company’s net profit.