Later on today, newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is going to celebrate the auto making union as their combined shares begin trading under the eyes of the world.
This should be viewed as CEO Sergio Marchionne’s greatest achievement to date, as he crowns a decade of a tough reinvention process that needed heavy restructuring and clever deal making. The move to have its primary listing on Wall Street and the secondary one in Milan also signals the shift of the new automaker from the traditional home of Fiat SpA – Italy.
Fiat started the epic journey back in 2009 as Europe was convoluted and in ruins, taking majority control over bankrupt Chrysler Group LLC – the third largest US automaker. Five years later, Fiat is the only stakeholder in Chrysler and the newly formed carmaker – the seventh biggest in the world – has a Dutch registration, London-based global headquarters and as of today listings in New York and Milan.
The situation is not the brightest though: the US market is viewed by many analysts as very close to its peak, the European region is still not showing a strong recovery and Latin America – once a Fiat stronghold – is showing signs of increased weakness.
However, the company has ambitious targets ahead for the next five years: 60% increase in sales and a profit growth to 5.5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) by 2018, when Marchionne should consider his mission accomplished and step down from office.