Chrysler will struggle to turn a profit this year, Marchionne says

CHRYSLER chief executive Sergio Marchionne said yesterday it would be “difficult” for the automaker to turn a net profit for the full year 2010.

Marchionne did not offer guidance for Chrysler’s financial performance for either the third or fourth quarter of the year.

The third-largest US automaker, which emerged from a US government-supported bankruptcy in June 2009 under the management control of Italy’s Fiat, narrowed its net loss to $172m (£110.1m) in the second quarter, from a $197m net loss in the first quarter.

Marchionne said that Chrysler’s plans to ask existing Chrysler dealerships to add to their showrooms to show Fiat autos is well ahead of plan. The automaker has far more than the company target of 200 dealers to take on selling Fiats.

On the company’s performance in general, Marchionne said he was “satisfied” and that the company was “well ahead of plan” for its turnaround after the bankruptcy.

General Motors, which also underwent a government-sponsored bankruptcy, has filed papers for an initial public offering of its stock. Chrysler is expected to watch the GM initial public offering (IPO) closely.