* Says has plenty of U.S. Chrysler dealers who want Fiat
(Adds CEO comments, details on Fiat, Alfa Romeo dealerships,
By Bernie Woodall
TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - Chrysler CEO Sergio
Marchionne said Monday it will be "difficult" for the
automaker to turn a net profit for the full year 2010.
Marchionne did not offer guidance for Chrysler's financial
performance for either the third or fourth quarter of the
The No. 3 U.S. automaker, which emerged from a U.S.
government-supported bankruptcy in June 2009 under the
management control of Italy's Fiat SpA, narrowed its
net loss to $172 million in the second quarter, from a $197
million net loss in the first quarter.
On the company's performance in general, Marchionne said
he is "satisfied" and that the automaker is "well ahead of
plan" for its turnaround after the bankruptcy.
"We're ahead of plan," Marchionne told reporters after Vice
President Joe Biden addressed autoworkers at a Chrysler plant
in Toledo that makes Jeep Wranglers.
"We are delivering on everything we said. We are doing it
quietly, keeping our head down," said Marchionne.
Earlier this month when Chrysler issued its second-quarter
financial results, Marchionne said he would likely raise its
outlook for 2010 after the third quarter.
General Motors Co which also underwent a
government-sponsored bankruptcy, has filed papers for an
initial public offering of its stock, in a sale that could
occur in about three months.
Marchionne did not make any remarks about a Chrysler IPO,
but in the past has said he will wait to see how the GM IPO
As he did in July, Marchionne said Chrysler would already be
showing net profits if it had not borrowed from the U.S.
Treasury in order to have operating cash.
"All the money given to us was debt," said Marchionne. "The
cost of carrying that cash is very large.
Marchionne said that Chrysler's plans to ask existing
Chrysler dealerships to add to their showrooms to show Fiat
autos is well ahead of plan. The automaker has far more than
the company target of 200 dealers to take on selling Fiats.
Chrysler has told its dealers that it would like to have
the Fiat dealerships in 119 cities in 37 states and Puerto
The Fiat 500 subcompact will be introduced to the U.S.
market in five months. Marchionne also said that the Alfa Romeo
sports car will be sold at U.S. dealerships, on the Fiat side
of joint Chrysler-Fiat dealerships.
"It is more than likely that the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands
will be co-marketed at the same location," Marchionne said.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Matthew Lewis)