PARIS (Reuters) -- Fiat expects to increase its share of the Western European car market by about half a percentage point during 2004, a senior executive with the Italian carmaker said on Monday. "Fiat's market share in Europe will increase a little bit this year, about 0.5 percentage points," Gianni Coda, head of the Fiat Lancia business unit, told reporters.
In 2003, Fiat's share of the Western European market fell to 7.4 percent from 8.2 percent in 2002.
Coda was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to name Fiat's new Panda car "Car of the Year" as voted by a panel of nearly 60 European auto journalists. The Panda is a key part of Fiat's turnaround plan.
Coda said Fiat was aiming to sell 200,000 Panda cars in Europe this year and he confirmed a target of 2005 for operating breakeven at Fiat Auto, the Fiat group's loss-making car arm.
Asked about his forecasts for the European market this year, he said he expected it would grow by between 1.0 and 1.5 percent. In 2003, sales fell 1.3 percent.