TURIN -- Russia, China and North America will play crucial roles in Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne's vision for the Italian automaker. Marchionne will announce the company's five-year strategic plan on April 21.
Marchionne already has promised that Fiat Group and Chrysler Group will sell a combined 5.5 million to 6 million vehicles by 2014. He says Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram will account for 2.8 million of the total. This means Fiat's seven brands (Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati, Fiat Professional) will have to sell 2.7 million to 3.2 million units in 2014 to do their part.
Last year, Fiat Group sold 2.3 million units while Chrysler Group sold 1.3 million.
We will have to wait another seven days to find out the exact targets for Fiat. At that time we also should learn which Fiat products will be produced – and where.
Here is what we know now:
• Fiat will spend 2.4 billion euros (about $3.3 billion) to expand its Russian joint venture with local automaker Sollers so that the partners can make 500,000 units a year in the country by 2016. Fiat sold 18,830 units in Russia last year
• Fiat plans to produce 220,000 units a year in China by 2014 as part of it newly created joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co., which already has partnerships in China with Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Fiat doesn't currently produce cars in China and sells a limited number of exported models in the world's largest auto market
• Fiat will build the 500 minicar for North America and Brazil at a Chrysler plant in Mexico. Fiat also is likely to make some Alfa Romeo models in North America. Those cars will be distributed globally. In addition, Fiat may provide Chrysler a subcompact sedan for North America and offer a Fiat-badged small minivan in the market. Both cars would be produced in Europe.
For more on what has been reported about the Fiat five-year plan as well as some insights on what we are likely to hear on April 21, check out the alphabetical by-brand, by-country roundup below.