Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has reported its first-quarter results reflecting impacts from the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) pandemic, with a Net loss from continuing operations of €1.7 billion (or about $1.9 billion USD). Despite the significant impact of the pandemic, the company said it had revenues of €21 billion (or $22 billion), a drop of 16% compared to a year ago, and had slightly positive earnings before interest and taxes.
FCA has said that the company is fully prepared to restart production as conditions allow, with actions taken to protect its employees and support its surrounding communities while managing liquidity and financial strength of the company. FCA has already restarted operations in some plants in China, Mexico, and Italy.
FCA has announced plans to begin restarting its United States manufacturing operations during the week of May 18th. However, the Belvidere Assembly Plant which builds the Jeep® Cherokee will remain idle until June 1st. Restart dates have been pushed back several times, due to talks with the UAW and local government restrictions. Both Ford Motor Company and General Motors (GM) have stated that they are looking to restart their operations around the same time as well.
Sales during the first-quarter in the United States declined by 10% for FCA. The company stated that the 818,000 vehicles it sold worldwide during the time, represented a 21% decline due to the global pandemic. According to reports, analysts expect the upcoming second-quarter results will provide a much clearer look at the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the auto industry.
“Throughout this unprecedented adversity, FCA’s first priority has been the health and safety of its employees and communities. The pandemic has had and continues to have, a significant impact on our operations. With our experienced leadership team and dedicated employees, I have the utmost confidence in our ability to navigate through this crisis and emerge well-positioned to grow and prosper on the other side.”
– Mike Manley, CEO
During the company’s first-quarter conference call, it was announced that FCA had saved money during the quarter in every sector of the company, despite lower sales due to the pandemic. FCA CEO Mike Manley stated during the call that the company was expected to save more than $2 billion for the year, with around $600 million to $800 million of the savings be maintained going into 2021. With all of the company’s plants shut down during the pandemic, personnel costs dropped by 50%, Manley said.
The conference call also backed our recent post about the future vehicle lineup as a result of the pandemic. There are no plans for cancellations of any upcoming new or refreshed vehicles. However, some of the project timelines for North America have been pushed back up to three months.
The company also stated that both FCA and Groupe PSA remain committed to their 50/50 merger and are looking to completing the transaction by the end of this year or early 2021.
To download a .pdf of the detail quarterly numbers, you can CLICK HERE: