Marchionne announces 17 new Fiat models, seven updates

CEO aims to remove doubts about carmaker's future in Italy

Marchionne announces 17 new Fiat models, seven updates

Milan, January 17 - Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said Thursday that the Turin-based carmaker would introduce 17 models over the next three years in his bid to remove doubts over Fiat's commitment to production in Italy. Speaking at an event devoted to the future of the automotive industry in the country, Marchionne also announced updates to seven existing types of car. Fiat, which is battling a slumping European market and labor disputes at its Italian plants, is on target to close 2013 in Europe "in line with 2012," said Marchionne. Fiat stayed seventh among European carmakers in 2012 but moved closer to BMW, with sales of 798,542 - just 735 behind its Munich rival - both with a market share of 6.4%. Last year's sales in Italy, Fiat's largest market, were the weakest since 1979, reflecting a slump that is hitting automakers across the continent. However Fiat managed to increase its market share, the biggest in the country. Marchionne said Thursday that profits would be bolstered by markets elsewhere. "Things will (continue) to go well in America, Brazil and China," he said.

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