Detroit News columnist Neil Winton and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchione aren ‘t so sure. Considering all of the economic pressures combined with environmental ones, BMW will have a long battle ahead of it. Here ‘s an excerpt:
>All this has plunged Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne into a gloomy mood. “I have totally revised what I will do in the first part of 2009. We ‘re just going to slam the brakes on, use as many temporary layoffs as needed, cut everything back to essentials. I am going to have one week of production between now and the beginning of January. After that we ‘re in the dark because I have no idea what demand will be. None, ” Marchionne told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
>His overall predictions seemed to exclude a future for Fiat too. Fiat also owns sporty brands Alfa Romeo and Lancia, and supercar manufacturers Ferrari and Maserati. “You need at least 5.5 million to 6 million cars (a year) to have a chance of making money, ” Marchionne said. Fiat ‘s annual output is less than half that.
> “Maybe I ‘m completely wrong. But today my gut instinct is to be truly Draconian. By the time we finish with this, in the next 24 months, as far as mass-producers are concerned, we ‘re going to end up with one American house, one German of size; one European-Japanese, probably with a significant extension in the U.S; one in Japan; one in China and one other potential European player, ” he said.
This seems not only to exclude either GM or Ford and Fiat, but Honda and Peugeot too, and would mean either BMW or Mercedes losing their independence.
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