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Fiat Germany has successful turnaround

Upturn in sight
B&D Forecast predicts 3.45 million passenger car sales in Germany in 2004, up from 3.24 million in 2003.
The Leverkusen-based firm foresees sales of 3.75 million autos in 2005.

Frankfurt/Main. Fiat's operating results for this business year will be between "35 million euros and 40 million euros," a high-ranking Fiat manager told Automobilwoche.

The company lost 38 million euros in 2002.

The figures, which were neither confirmed nor denied by the company, do not include results from Fiat's profitable financial arm.

The managers at Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia expect that the number of new registrations in Germany will be a few thousand less than in the previous year. The number in 2002 was 104,000.

Klaus Fricke, who took the job leading Fiat's largest foreign subsidiary in September 2002, carried out his promise to put "return on investment before volume."

Fiat reduced its number of demonstration cars and the number of vehicles it sells to car rental companies.

"We managed to cross the valley of tears," a spokesman said.

Two new models promise to bring a further rise in revenue in 2004: the Fiat Idea will be launched at the end of January and the Alfa GT comes in February.

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