Fiat plans to export premium models to US
31 October 2012
Italian automaker Fiat's chief, Sergio Marchionne has proposed a plan to export new Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep models from Italy to avert plant closures, protect Italian jobs and reduce the dependence of Fiat on Chrysler's profits in the US.
Marchionne, who turned the Italian car marker around in 2004 and breathed new life into Chrysler is aiming to strengthen Fiat by exporting premium brands from Italy to the US, Canada and Asia.
Rather than shutting down plants in Italy running at less than half their potential output, Marchionne plans to launch 24 models between 2013 and 2016, of which 15 would be exported from Italy.
According to Marchionne, this was truly not for the faint-hearted. He said Fiat had not shied away from a fight going back to 2004." He said, he thought Fiat had to do it one more time, and he thought it needed to be done in a way that provided a permanent solution to (the European) quandary.
The announcement of Marchionne's plan came yesterday after Fiat reported earnings of $370 million in the third quarter. However, without the profits generated by Chrysler, of which Fiat owned 58.5 per cent, Fiat would have lost $364 million.
Globally, Fiat's revenue shot 16.4 per cent, to 20.4 billion euros but the company's revenue in Europe declined 13 per cent.