Italian automotive giant, Fiat, which is joining forces with embattled US brand, Chrysler, made its best-ever profit in 2008, despite a tough fourth quarter as the recession bit
Fiat says its trading profit rose four percent over 2007 to 3.4 billion Euro, on a total revenue of 59.4 billion which was up 1.5 percent over the previous year.
Fiat Group Automobiles increased revenue slightly – 0.5 percent – to 26.9 billion Euro. It built 2,152,500 cars to achieve a trading profit of 691 million.
Sales rose in key markets – France by 31 percent, Germany (14 percent) and Brazil (nine percent).
Fiat’s strong sales network in Europe and Latin America is one of the keys to Chrysler’s interest in a joint future (Fiat will get 35 percent of the US firm), along with access to small and medium car platforms.
In return, Fiat can get access to the US market for some of its own cars and for subsidiary brand, Alfa Romeo, and is also likely to build some models – like the hot-selling new 500 – in Chrysler factories in America.