Chrysler most likely will announce record growth in market share for March. No such luck for Chrysler’s owner FIAT. Again, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne is getting in front of a horrible story in order to soften its inevitable blow. Sergio told Italy’s newswire AGI that “March will be a terrible year for the Italian market.”
Marchionne sees registrations of new cars drop by around 38%-40%, and that “not just because of strike actions carried out by transporters.”
FIAT’s CEO forecasts that around 1.5 million vehicles might be sold in 2012 in Italy, down from 1.75 million in 2011. Until recently, Italy was a 2 million unit market.
Fiat traditionally owns about 30 percent of the market and takes the full brunt of the bottom that’s falling out. To make matters worse, FIAT’s market share in Italy has dropped to 28 percent. FIAT’s market share elsewhere in Europe also is tanking.