Fiat Chrysler plans to sell 20 new models by 2016

Tommaso Ebhardt
Bloomberg News

Fiat Chyrsler will boost spending in the next two years as the carmaker plans to sell 20 new models by 2016, including the Maserati Alfieri sportscar and two new Alfa Romeos.

The carmaker’s investments “increases to a peak in 2016 to support the heavy cadence of the new and refreshed product program,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Saturday in a presentation made to investors at Bank am Bellevue seminar in Flims, Switzerland, posted on its website.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne targets to boost sales by 60 percent to 7 million cars in 2018 as the carmaker plans to invest 48 billion euros ($55.5 billion) to expand Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep into nameplates that can attract customers from Beijing to Berlin to Boston. In doing so, Marchionne is seeking to forge an automaker that’s big enough to challenge General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG.

Marchionne is boosting spending as FCA sees “positive industry outlook” in every region next year, including an increase of Brazilian and European markets, according to the presentation. The carmaker expects industry deliveries of cars and light commercial vehicle in Europe, Middle East and Africa to increase to 21.7 million next year from 21.3 in 2014. Fiat sees an expansion of the EMEA market by 2.9 percent a year to 2018, according to the presentation. The outlook is also positive for North America and Asia.

The carmaker, created last year by the merger of Fiat SpA with its U.S. unit, plans to boost sales to over 5 million cars in 2015, Marchionne said Jan. 12 in Detroit. It’s adding over 1,000 new workers at the Italian plant which builds the Jeep Renegade to meet demand for the small SUV.

Fiat Chrysler may return to profit in Europe by 2016 as it cut costs and sells new models, Marchionne said Jan. 13 in Detroit. The automaker, now based in London, moved its listing to the New York Stock Exchange from Milan in October.

To sustain the investment plan, Marchionne plans to raise about $5 billion in a strategy which includes the spinoff of its Ferrari supercar division and the sale of a 10 percent stake in the unit next year. Fiat reiterated today its plan to reduce net industrial debt by 4 billion euros with its funding strategy.