Fiat Chrysler projects major boost in U.S. market share

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DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles projected that it will have roughly the same U.S. market share in 2018 as Ford Motor Co. had last year and that its global sales would grow more than twice as fast as the rest of the industry.

The company said Tuesday it expects to sell 7 million vehicles globally in 2018, 59 percent more than it sold in 2013, and that net income would reach about 5 billion euros ($7 billion). The forecast calls for revenue to rise 52 percent to 132 billion euros ($183.9 billion), with more than half of the revenue continuing to come from North America.

The projections represent annual growth rates averaging 10 percent for sales and 9 percent for revenue.

CFO Richard Palmer said profit margins would increase to about 5.3 percent in 2016 and 7 percent in 2018, from 4.1 percent last year. Earnings before interest and taxes would nearly triple, from 3.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) last year to 9.5 billion euros ($13.2 billion) in 2018.

He said Chrysler’s U.S. market share would rise from 11.4 percent last year to 15.8 percent in 2018. In comparison, Ford’s share last year was 15.9 percent and Toyota Motor Sales USA had 14.4 percent of the U.S. market.

The Jeep brand is projected to account for nearly half of the company’s global sales growth, increasing from 732,000 units last year to 1.9 million in 2018. The company revealed aggressive plans to increase Jeep sales in China and Europe, in addition to the United States. Sales by the Chrysler brand are projected to double to 800,000 units.

The plan assumes company sales increases of 1 million units in North America and 900,000 in the Asia Pacific region. The company is building a Jeep plant in China but gave no details about any plans to increase production capacity in North America.

You can reach Nick Bunkley at nbunkley@crain.com. -- Follow Nick on Twitter

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