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Marchionne confirms 2014 targets

by Bill Cawthon on

Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Oro reports that Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed the 6-million-unit sales target for 2014, though he does expect 2011 and 2012 to be tough years for automakers.

In discussions with reporters at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, Marchionne also commented briefly on the dispute between Volkswagen and Suzuki over the Japanese automaker’s decision to source small diesel engines from Fiat, saying, “We talk to everyone.”

Marchionne noted that the UAW contract expires tomorrow and there is no agreement yet. According to Marchionne, “We’re not close.”

Referring to the new UP being introduced by Volkswagen, Marchionne said the German car manufacturers do not care about small cars like the Fiat. “(T)hey are trying to imitate, in a very awkward way, what we’re doing,” Marchionne commented.

The Italian economy was brought up; Marchionne said the government’s response must be credible because the world is watching to see how Italy deals with its sovereign debt issues. Speaking about calls for the Chinese to buy Italian debt, he said, “If the Chinese are willing to invest, God bless them. But the fact that we had to go there is not a good sign.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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