By on October 2, 2010

New car registrations in Italy fell 18.9 percent in September to 154,429 vehicles. Of course that means major pain for Fiat, which holds about 30 percent of the market. Actually, more than major pain: Fiat’s sales in their home market cratered by 26.3 percent to just 44,161 vehicles in September. That according to Transport Ministry data, published by Reuters. And what did Sergio Marchionne have to say to that disaster?

He had known it all along. “The figures were completely in line with expectations,” Marchionne told reporters. “The market is looking for stability, and until the process of getting supply and demand into line is completed, we will continue to suffer.”

According to Sergio, lower range models suffer the most. When will it get better? Not anytime soon: “We’ll probably have to wait until 2011 to see a pick-up in demand.”

With the rest of Europe likewise in tatters, and with no China that saves the bacon of German makers, Fiat is in a world of hurt. But never mind, it’s hurt that came expected. Maybe it will be time to wear two sweaters for a while.

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12 Comments on “Sergio: I Saw The Drop Coming, And Don’t Worry, It Will Get Worse...”


  • avatar
    Lampredi

    Now let’s hope that VW doesn’t take advantage of Fiat’s problems as they escalate by trying to get their hands on Alfa Romeo…

  • avatar
    Stingray

    No, they don’t have China, but they have Brazil. The volumes can’t be compared but still. And Brazil is growing.
     
    The US is improving too.

    • 0 avatar

      Hola Stingray!

      Sí señor, they have Brazil, but not in the proportion they had hoped (see my September in Brazil article: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/brazil-in-september-2010-gol-slow/.

      Though Brazil has saved Italy’s bacon more than once, Brazil can’t and won’t grow at Chinese levels (if we grow at more than 5% a year, inflation will come back, and nobody wants that, remeber the 90s when Brazil experienced hyperinflation?). We are having a record year in 2010, so Fiat is having record sales in Brazil, but if nothing changes I think we’ve pretty much gone stagnated for the year. As i explain in my article, they’re trying to squeeze every last real from the consumer, but so far the market is not having any of it (go market! Go!).

      But like you I see hope from America. Fleet or not Chrysler is coming back. And not a moment too soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      Agreed, it’s impossible to compare Fiat in Brazil with VW in China (just to pick the 2 involved in the Alfa soup opera). My point is that they still can fight.
       
      And what the f$%&/ is selling GM to be in 3rd place without being in the top 10?

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a gerion in the South of Brazil, where the people call themselves gauchos. Just like in Argentina. They even speak a kind of portuñol.

      Welll, they have a saying, “peleado é mais gostoso”. Can you  get that?

      Fiat is a survivor. They’ll somehow muddle through. Despite the best efforts of Marchionne (spin off dumb idea!!! Harvard MBA bullshit that’ll bite them in the ass). Though if the Chysler thing comes through he’ll become the best Fiat prez since some Agnelli from like 50 years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      uh-oh I have a comment waiting for moder…
      But basically I say I agree. And that Fiat will muddle through. Despite Sergio

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      Don’t pay attention to your comment blah blah blah. It usually activates when you’re swearing.
       
      I don’t know if you were here during RF days. Receiving one of his emails required wearing some OSHA approved equipment.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I got some of those. Specially when I said his vision of brand wasn’t everything…

      And I was definetely swearing.

  • avatar
    marjanmm

    I am genuinely surprised they haven’t cratered even further. I like their cars but they seem to be bent of self destruction. Some five or so years ago they were on the roll but look at their Euro lineup now:
    1. panda – excellent car and used to be cash cow but now something like 7 years old and the speculative replacements I have seen in the magazines look terrible compared to the current car
    2. grande punto – used to be the best looking supermini but terribly uglified with the evo restyle and i am sure the sales fell in Italy, of course the style is the most important thing there
    3. bravo – nice compact which I personally like but cannot fit inside. medium success
    4. sedici – rebadge of suzuki sx4, failure
    5. croma – mpv/estate cross, total failure
    6. 500 – real success but a premium city car by definition does not sell in huge numbers
    Also lately Alfa MiTo and Giulietta are nice cars but prevalent opinion is that they look worse than 147 and having seen one red Giulietta on the street yesterday I must agree. Finally an Alfa which in practical sense can cope with the best but then fails on the looks. Crazy!
    It may be Fiat has been concentrating effort on making the Chrysler thing work and also we should not forget they now have some of the best if not the best small petrol and diesel engines in the world and their cars are now way better built and more reliable than just half a decade ago but still, Italian cars with no style miss the point.

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredi

      And it certainly doesn’t help that Fiat won’t launch new models until late next year (!):

      http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6901YR20101001

    • 0 avatar

      @marjanmm

      I agree with you, but up to a point. Yes style is important, but it’s not everything. I f you look at the history of the Panda, you’ll see that. Over and over. But they have been busy. Improving things where you can’t see them. Like you said the cars are better than ever. The multiair technology for example. Wondrous thing, but it doesn’t get developed by itself. It takes money.

      Onr thing Sergio is, is thorough. I expect the new cars will be better than ever. In terms of buid quality. Beauty, success? That’s to be seen, but I think they have a mighty good chance.

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