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Chrysler Hot, Fiat Not

U.S. maker bails out its Italian alliance partner.

by on Jul.31, 2012

Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne during a recent tour of Chrysler's Belvidere Assembly Plant.

A day after the U.S. side of the trans-Atlantic alliance reported in, Italy’s Fiat SpA delivered some unexpectedly good news in the form of a 358 million Euro, or $440 million profit for the second quarter of 2012.

But the numbers wouldn’t have been nearly as good if it weren’t for Chrysler, which saw a 141% increase in its own year-over-year adjusted net earnings.  Take away the American automaker’s contribution and Fiat would have sunk 246 million Euros, or $302 million, into the red.

A year ago, Fiat reported earnings of 1.24 billion euro, or $1.52 billion.

In the Know!

The contrast between the two arms of the alliance underscores the dramatic difference between each of the maker’s home market.  While the U.S. is still a long way from reaching past peaks, demand has been growing at a double-digit pace this year and Chrysler’s worldwide shipments – largely to North America — rose 22% during the quarter to 630,000 vehicles during the April-June quarter.  Fiat has been struggling under the worsening European economy which is rapidly dragging down the Continental car market.

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