Fiat says European market remains 'uncertain'

Automaker stands by 2013 profit forecasts led by US sales

Fiat says European market remains 'uncertain'

Turin, April 9 - Driven by strong sales in North America, Italian automaker Fiat said Tuesday that it is maintaining 2013 profit forecasts of as much as 1.5 billion euros. However, "significant levels of uncertainty" remain in the European market which will continue to decline throughout this year, CEO Sergio Marchionne told company shareholders. He also maintained 2013 forecasts for profits of between 1.2 billion euros and 1.5 billion euros drawn from revenues of between 88 billion euros and 92 billion euros. Marchionne, who is also CEO of subsidiary Chrysler, said the group should show sales of between 4.3 million and 4.5 million vehicles this year, slightly higher than last year's results. The company is forecasting growth in the United States, Latin America, and Asia this year, but a continued decline is expected in European sales. However, by fiscal year 2015-2016, Fiat "will reach a balanced budget in Europe," predicted Marchionne. North America is expected to account for half of 2013 sales, while Latin America and Europe should each contribute one million units. Sales in Asia are expected to double. Fiat and Chrysler combined sold more than four million vehicles last year, making the combined group the world's seventh-largest automaker. Fiat is expected to update its 2013 revenue forecasts on April 29, when it releases first-quarter results.

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