2013 was apparently a tough time to sell cars in Europe. Automaker Fiat SpA (BIT:F) released a disappointing annual earnings report today. The Italian firm reported earnings of $943 million euros ($1.3 billion) in 2013, down from 1.14 billion euros ($1.56 billion) in 2012.
Chrysler bright spot
Earnings from Fiat SpA (BIT:F)’s now wholly-owned subsidiary Chrysler were, however, one of the few bright spots in the report. The once-beleaguered American auto manufacturer Chrysler reported its earnings totaled $1.8 billion for 2013, an increase from $1.7 billion in 2012. Showing the importance of the Chrysler acquisition to Fiat SpA (BIT:F): without Chrysler, Fiat would have lost more than 440 euros ($602 million) last year.
Furthermore, Chrysler’s results would have been even better except for greater than expected costs related to the launch of new products, including the popular 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Auburn Hill-based automaker posted a profit of $659 million for the fourth quarter, an increase from $378 million in fourth quarter 2012.
Revenues were also up significantly for Chrysler, with 2013 revenue surpassing $72 billion, up a solid 10% from 2012. Fourth-quarter revenue came in right at $21 billion, an increase of 24% from a year earlier.
Statement from Fiat
Typically reserved Fiat SpA (BIT:F) CEO Sergio Marchionne spoke after the earnings release earlier today. “The 2013 year-end financial results reflect the commitment Chrysler Group has made to rapidly refresh our product lineup with vehicles that achieve exacting performance standards.”
Marchionne also told employees to look forward to a brighter future now that the two companies are fully combined. Fiat SpA (BIT:F), which took control of Chrysler in 2009, recently completed their acquisition to become 100% owners of Chrysler. He also mentioned that Chrysler employees would receive either a profit-sharing check or a performance bonus.
New name for combined company
It was also announced today that the new combined auto manufacturing concern would be called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The stock of the new company is expected to trade on the New York Stock exchange and on the Milan Stock Exchange.
In order to complete the transaction, the two companies will be combined into a Dutch NewCo, which will then renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. It was also reported that the new firm will be considered a U.K. company for tax purposes.