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Marchionne Sees “Painful” Changes for European Auto Industry

Plant closings, job losses unavoidable.

by on Mar.21, 2012

The Chrysler side of the company has already undergone its restructuring. Now Fiat has to move, said Marchionne.

Amplifying recent comments by many of his key counterparts, Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he sees a “painful” restructuring coming for the European auto industry, with the sort of plant closings and job losses experienced in recent years by the industry in North America.

It is the only way, Marchionne and other industry leaders argue, that the European auto industry can return to profitability.  With rare exception, manufacturers have been running up floods of red ink threatening their long-term viability.

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“It has to be painful, when you are talking about reductions, it’s going to have initially a negative impact on employment,” said Marchionne during a meeting with reporters in Bruges, Belgium.

Earlier this month, during the opening media events of the annual Geneva Motor Show, the issue of European over-capacity was a central topic of discussion.  Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn told, “Europe, today, is a place where all manufacturers have capacity problems.”