Pump the brakes.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU) shares extended declines Monday as investors balked at the $52 billion in costs associated with the new five-year business strategy detailed last week by outgoing CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Marchionne, who plans to leave the group in 2019 after 15 years at the helm of the world's seventh-largest automaker, outlined plans to boot JEEP, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brand production over the next five years that, along with RAM truck and commercial fleet sales, will comprise around 80% of group revenues. However, the $10 billion billion costs associated with a long-term effort to invest in electric and hybrid cars, as well as plans to create a captive financing unit in the United States, has some investors concerned that the offsetting $11.7 billion in savings and cost-cuts might not materialise as quickly under a new group CEO.
Fiat shares were marked 1.47% lower in early European trading and changing hands at $21.32 each, a move that extends their two-day decline to around 9.25% but still leaves it with a healthy year-to-date advance of around 23%.
Marchionne said Fiat will earn between $15.2 billion and $18.8 billion in 2022, when the new five year plan expires, a figure that's more than double the $7.7 billion the company earned in 2017. The charismatic CEO is also targeting a profit margin of between 9% and 11%, up from the current 6.3%, and said he wants to see a dividend payout ratio of 20% once the company gets its investment grade credit rating back after meeting a milestone of eliminating its debt pile by the end of this month.
"As you know, we have pursued a disciplined and rigorous strategy to eliminate our net industrial debt, reversing a legacy that has dogged both Fiat and Chrysler for decades, since well before I was around," Marchionne told investors Friday. " There remains work to be done this month to get there -- most importantly we have to continue to execute on our current product launches -- but sitting where I am today I am confident we will hit that target"
In operational terms, Fiat wants to expand Jeep's presence in the global market with an aim of shifting 1 of over 12 utility vehicles sold by 2022. At present, the Jeep Wrangler is already the most wanted car in America as of April, according to CarMax.
Alfa Romeo production is also set for a big expansion, to 400,000 units a year in 2022 from the current 170,000, while RAM sales are forecast to grow by 30% as part of the group's overall $52 billion investment plan.