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Margins + flat sales = profit

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today reported record second quarter earnings of $2.18 billion, an increase of 15% over the second quarter of 2016. Adjusted net profit rose 52% to $1.26 billion on revenues of $32.7 billion.

The company credited Maserati as a major contributor to the growth in profitability. Profits at FCA’s premium brand rose by 14%.

Margins rose to a record of nearly 7% in Q2. North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico) delivered even higher margins, hitting more than 8% in the second quarter.

Worldwide shipments were down by 1%, to 1,225,000 units, due to the soft U.S. market. Shipments in Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America were all higher in the second quarter of 2017.

FCA shaved $1.05 billion from its net industrial debt, which now stands at $4.94 billion, and confirmed its market guidance for the remainder of the year. The company still plans to be “debt neutral” by the end of 2018.

(All figures reflect current exchange rates as of 7/27/2017.)

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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