The following is a letter from Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne to employees, obtained by Automotive News:
Capping off an historic year, during which we made the transition to a single, global organization, FCA today released its preliminary 2014 financial results that report strong performance in line with our expectations. These results are testimony to your continued commitment to our values, the ability to maintain focus on our key objectives and our determination to build a truly special group.
We shipped 4.6 million vehicles in 2014, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year, with NAFTA, APAC and EMEA all contributing to the growth and the Jeep brand setting an all-time annual record with global sales of more than one million units.
The increase in shipments, together with a better product mix, drove revenues 11 percent higher to €96.1 billion, with increases in all regions but LATAM, where weak market conditions continued.
EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) increased 7 percent to €3.2 billion. Excluding unusual items, EBIT totaled €3.7 billion, with strong improvements for APAC, Maserati and EMEA, which returned to profitability in the fourth quarter, an indication that we are turning the corner in the region as our focus on producing premium vehicles for export begins to pay off.
FCA posted a net profit of €632 million for the year. Excluding unusual items, net profit was €955 million, which represented a slight improvement over the prior year.
We will remember 2014 as a momentous year that included the formation of FCA (now the world’s seventh-largest automaker), the debut of our shares on the NYSE, our return to the U.S. equity markets, record sales for both Jeep and Maserati and the return of Alfa Romeo to North America after a 20-year absence. We also presented an ambitious five-year plan to grow our business and continue building an extraordinary enterprise that has the potential to enrich us at both the industrial and the human levels.
We have already begun 2015 with the same momentum. Based on positive results for the new Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X, earlier this month we announced plans to add 1,500 new jobs at the Melfi plant, where we have already invested more than €1 billion in production of the new models. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we unveiled the all-new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, another step on our way to reinvigorating Alfa Romeo and making it a true global brand. We also introduced the new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel and announced the new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, which remains the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup in North America.
This is just the beginning of a new year filled with opportunities for continued growth together with the challenges of an incredibly competitive landscape.
Let’s continue to dream big and take accountability for achieving our targets so that this time next year we, as a team, can look back with pride at the progress we have made as we continue this remarkable journey.