Fiat SpA (F) Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne will not attend the International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Europe’s biggest auto event, because of “unforeseen business commitments,” the automaker said.
This marks the first time in recent years that Marchionne, 61, will not attend a major car show in the region. Chairman John Elkann will also not be in Frankfurt, Fiat said.
The Italian carmaker, which controls Chrysler Group LLC, isn’t showing any new models from its mass-market brands at the show as Marchionne holds back on investments in the midst of the sixth straight annual decline in European auto demand. The CEO instead is pushing production of more upscale cars from the Maserati and Alfa Romeo nameplates, which will come to market in the coming years, to export from Italy.
Marchionne canceled two press events tomorrow and is unlikely to attend a meeting of the ACEA industry group, which he currently heads, on Sept. 11, Fiat said.
Marchionne lowered his profit forecast for Chrysler in July by as much as 13 percent because of the U.S. carmaker’s spending to roll out vehicles such as a new version of the Jeep Cherokee. That puts pressure on Fiat to reduce losses in Europe to meet a full-year target range for group trading profit, or earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items, of 4 billion euros to 4.5 billion euros.
The Turin-based automaker will post 2013 trading profit of 3.88 billion euros, 120 million euros lower than the bottom end of the automaker’s target, according to the average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The Italian carmaker may report 87.6 billion euros in revenue this year, according to the average of 20 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a company’s forecast of 88 billion euros to 92 billion euros.
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