TURIN -- Fiat Auto's E270 million loss in the third quarter was much worse than forecast by financial experts.
Analysts polled by parent Fiat Group expected Fiat Auto to lose E240 million on an operating basis in the third quarter and E775 million in the full year.
Fiat Auto's operating loss for January to September already stands at E744 million.
Analysts predict Fiat Auto will lose E200 million in 2005, but will achieve a E220 million operating profit inn 2006.
A strike at Fiat's plant in Melfi, southern Italy, and pricing pressure on new-car sales badly hit Fiat Auto in the 3Q.
Fiat lost production of 38,000 Lancia Y and Fiat Punto models because of the strike.