Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new CEO, former Jeep/Ram brand chief Mike Manley, says that he intends to stick to the late Sergio Marchionne’s last five-year plan, which was presented to investors and analysts in early-June. Manley’s transition into the role of CEO at the Italian-American automaker was accelerated last weekend after Marchionne’s health faltered.
FCA on Wednesday confirmed that Sergio Marchionne had passed away. He was 66 years old.
“Fundamentally, my mandate is to deliver that five year plan,” Manley said, after holding a moment of silence during his first chat with analysts as CEO. “My intention is to deliver that plan as a strong, independent FCA, and my team is focused on that as well.”
The 54-year-old native of England was saddened by the passing of his predecessor, with whom Manley says he spent “the last nine years of my life” speaking to just about daily. He called Marchionne’s death “heartbreaking,” saying: “There’s no doubt that he was a unique man, and he will be sorely missed.”
Fiat Chrysler has had to lower its revenue and profit guidance for 2018, after having lower-than-expected sales in China in the second quarter. Net income for the quarter slid 35 percent to $881.9 million, and adjusted earnings fell 9 percent to $1.15 billion, as the automaker’s Asia operations suffered a $115-million loss, its push to expand the Jeep brand there failing to take hold.
There is a silver lining, though, in that the elimination of FCA’s industrial debt last month means that the automaker now holds $533 million in net cash, versus net debt of $1.53 billion as of March 31st. But that wasn’t enough to keep FCA shares from tumbling to $17.00 by the end of trading Wednesday, down from a close of $19.28 the day before.
(Source: Automotive News)