Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) does not anticipate its diesel problems in the United States to have an influence on its short-term company targets to 2018, CEO Sergio Marchionne stated on Friday.
The United States Justice Department took legal action against FCA last month, alleging the automaker of unlawfully using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel automobiles sold from 2014, in a move that could potentially result in heavy fines.
The company has proposed a software update as part of accrediting 2017 diesel models to enable them to go on sale and then utilize that fix to update the 104,000 automobiles on the road.
Asked whether it might take months to obtain U.S. authority approval for the software repair, as recommended by a U.S. Justice Department attorney recently, Marchionne stated “we are much closer than this”.
“When we made the proposal, we were ready to implement the repair right away … now it depends on them,” Marchionne informed reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Venice of the U.S.-Italy council. “We are speaking with them … we believe we have a feasible solution.”
He stated the company had not made any provisions for any possible fines, including it was “impossible to try estimate”.
Part of the 2018 business strategy, which is focused around the revamp of its Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands, is eliminating all debt and collecting a minimum of 4 billion euros ($ 4.5 billion) of money by the end of next year.
After failing to strike a much sought alliance for the automaker, Marchionne has made executing the 2018 strategy his core ambition before he steps down at the end of his tenure early in the following year.
When asked whether he might reconsider his decision to give up in early 2019 given political and market unpredictabilities surrounding his company, Marchionne, stated “No”.
He stated there was a “wide and deep bench” of possible internal candidates to succeed him, and did not omit the possibility of his powers being divided amongst numerous managers, although added this would depend on the board to choose.
“My job is challenging, it’s a bit loaded,” he stated.
Marchionne stated the 2nd quarter was going in line with expectations and validated the targets for the complete year.