Fiat Auto reports further losses
MILAN - Fiat Auto posted a loss for the fourth consecutive quarter, lowering first-half pretax profits for the Fiat SpA group by 64 percent to euro 377 million. Fiat Auto had an operating loss of euro 148 million in the second quarter against a euro 44 million profit in the quarter in 1998. Fiat Auto lost euro 257 million for the first half, compared with a year-earlier profit of euro 52 million.
Second-quarter auto-sector sales were euro 6.45 billion, down 8.1 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Fiat pledged to bring the car division back into profit by the end of the year.
VW maintains cautious approach
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen AG posted gains in six-month net profit and sales, but Chairman Ferdinand Pi'ch repeated that margins would remain under pressure. January-June, the group's net profit grew by a modest 1.7 percent to DM845 million (euro 428 million). Results were depressed by tax changes. Revenue was up 12.7 percent to DM74.4 billion. Group sales reached about 2.5 million units (+9.2 percent), including 1.6 million in Europe (+16 percent). US sales jumped 44.1 percent to about 150,000 vehicles. In Brazil, sales fell 18.3 percent to 183,000 units.
Audi sales set to top 600,000 units
INGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi AG predicts record sales this year after first-half sales climbed 7.3 percent to DM14.4 billion (euro 7.3 billion).
Chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen said the Volkswagen Group unit sold 320,470 units in January-June, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Production was up 2.4 percent to 314,769 units. Paefgen said he expected Audi sales to top 600,000 in 1999. Last year the company sold 599,509 units.
PSA on the rise
PARIS - PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's first-half 1999 sales rose by 7.5 percent to FF124.8 billion (euro 18.9 billion). Western European sales rose 11.7 percent. Worldwide, Peugeot and Citroen auto sales, at just under 1.3 million vehicles, rose 9.8 percent. Peugeot unit sales rose 14.9 percent. Citroen rose 3 percent.
First-half surge for D/C brands
NEW YORK - DaimlerChrysler first-half revenues rose 10 percent to euro 72.3 billion and net profit grew by 11 percent to euro 3.1 billion compared with the year-earlier period. Operating profits at the former Chrysler Corp. brands rose 5 percent to euro 2.8 billion. Operating profit at the Mercedes-Benz cars and Smart division rose 11 percent to euro 1.15 billion.
For all of 1999, D/C said revenues will exceed euro 140 billion.
Presenting D/C's results here, Co-chairman Jurgen Schrempp said the company was considering a flotation of Dasa, its aerospace subsidiary. Dasa is shortly to merge with Spanish firm Contrucciones Aeronauticas (Casa).