Didn’t they do well!?
Fiat has just announced that, despite the doom and gloom in the car world in 2008, particularly in the last quarter, they have had their best year ever, with their trading profit up by 4% and turnover by 1.5% to €60 billion. Well done them.
A number of factors have led to this very comfortable position for Fiat, including strong performances from their Supercar divisions – Ferrari & Maserati – and a big jump in sales in France – up by a third. Car sales totalled 2,152,500 and the group made an operating profit of €691 million.
Apart from the big jump in sales in France (which really put the gloss on these results) Ferrari was a strong performer, delivering 6,527 cars and increasing sales to €1.9 billion. Maserati contributed well, selling more cars than Ferrari (8,759) and revenues of €825 million.
It’s fair to say that both Ferrari and Maserati are unlikely to sell as well in 2009. Maserati might do better as its offerings are cheaper than Ferraris, but Ferrari may well find it difficult because of the problems with the Ferrari California taking their market place down a notch.
But this strong performance leaves Fiat is a good position to make hay through the world recession. Big fortunes are made in times of turmoil by the strong, and Fiat’s bold move for Chrysler last week shows how they’re acting from a position of strength. Rumours continues to place Fiat as probable buyers of Peugeot/Citroen, capitalising on their resurgence in the French market.
A strong model line-up, including the extremely well-received Fiat 500, particularly at the economy end of the spectrum, has allowed Fiat to sell more cars than it could have expected, and for their core market there is no reason to expect this performance to diminish. Particularly now Fiat has access to the US market through its partnership with Chrysler, a situation that could see Fiat producing some spectacular sales in 2009 as America falls in love with more compact Euro-style cars.
Onwards and upwards!