That was an easy call: Car sales in Europe will decline again this year, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told his assembled shareholders at a meeting in Turin. Fiat, caught with pants and sales down in Europe’s teetering south, would be in much worse shape without Chrysler, Marchionne thinks:
“This was the only way to preserve Fiat’s future. It does not make sense anymore to talk about Fiat as an Italian or European company… With Chrysler we have fixed our excessive dependence on Europe and have the tranquility to overcome the market’s fluctuations.”
Chrysler surprised again in March with a 34 percent gain and the best monthly result in four years. Back home in Italy, Marchionne already preannounced “horrible sales” for Fiat and March.
Reuters says that the shareholder meeting approved the conversion of Fiat’s preference and savings shares into ordinary shares, which makes it easier for Fiat to buy the 41.5 percent of Chrysler it does not yet own.