Chrysler earnings drop 65 percent

An assembly line worker at a Chrysler plant in Kokomo, Ind. The carmaker’s CEO said it remains “on track.”

AJ Mast/Associated Press

An assembly line worker at a Chrysler plant in Kokomo, Ind. The carmaker’s CEO said it remains “on track.”

DETROIT — Chrysler Group said Monday that its net income fell 65 percent in the first quarter, to $166 million, as the automaker spent heavily to prepare for new product introductions.

Chrysler, the smallest of Detroit’s three auto companies, said revenue dropped 6 percent in the quarter, to $15.4 billion, despite an 8 percent increase in new vehicle sales. The weaker results ­indicated that Chrysler is still solidifying its comeback from a government bailout and bankruptcy in 2009.


But the company’s chief ­executive, Sergio Marchionne, reaffirmed earlier forecasts that Chrysler would earn $2.2 billion for the full year on revenue of $72 billion or higher.

“We remain on track to achieve our business targets,’’ said Marchionne, who is also chief executive of Chrysler’s parent company, the Italian automaker Fiat.

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Fiat, which owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, also reported a decline in profit as weak sales in Europe persisted. Fiat said its net profit in the first quarter fell to $40.56 million, an 88 percent decline from the same period in 2012.

Chrysler reported that it sold 563,000 vehicles worldwide during the three-month period, an 8 percent increase from a year ago. Most of the additional sales came in the United States, where Chrysler said its market share ­improved slightly to 11.4 percent, up from 11.2 percent in the same period in 2012.

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