11 May 2010
FIAT and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne Confronts Critics
Wall Street Journal
The chief executive of Chrysler Group LLC on Monday confronted analysts' doubts about the car maker's turnaround, saying it may beat its recent financial projections and expressing confidence it can eventually offer stock publicly.
In a conference call, Sergio Marchionne said Chrysler is benefiting from lower vehicle inventories and firmer prices, although its vehicle sales are tracking below its own projections.
Last month, Chrysler forecast its revenue would rise to $40 billion to $45 billion this year, and it could generate an operating profit of up to $200 million after losing $4 billion in the second half of 2009. While Chrysler hasn't disclosed 2009 revenue its 2008 sales totaled $48.4 billion.
On Monday, Mr. Marchionne reiterated an optimistic view, saying Chrysler "could blow the lid off the numbers." The company, which is partly owned by the U.S. government, is beginning to look into a stock offering because of its improving performance, Mr. Marchionne added. The company went private under its U.S.-backed bankruptcy last year.
"There is a strengthening base for us looking at an IPO in a much shortened time frame than most people would have expected," he said.
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