Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) posted results for the fourth quarter of 2018 and targets for 2019 below analysts’ expectations. Adjusted net profit in 2018 increased +34% to €5 billion, while net profit was up +3% to €3.6 billion. Worldwide combined shipments totalled of 4,842,000 units, up 102,000 units year-on-year. Mike Manley, FCA’s new CEO, said the Group expects a difficult first half in 2019, but with a gradual improvement quarter after quarter, due to the switch to the new versions of Jeep Wrangler and the Ram Heavy Duty. The Group forecasts an EBIT of more than €6.7 billion for 2019, while analysts had projected over €7.3 billion.

In 2018, FCA says it achieved record results in the NAFTA region, with adjusted EBIT up +19% and margin at 8.6%. In LATAM, the Group posted an adjusted EBIT up +138% with an increase in shipments; a higher demand in Brazil is said to have partially offset the impact of Argentina’s economic downturn in the second half of the year. In the APAC, FCA said combined shipments were down primarily due to China’s market weakness and increased competition, particularly in the SUV segments. Net revenues in this region are said to have decreased due to an unfavourable mix, pricing actions and foreign currency translation effects. FCA’s European market share (EU28+EFTA) for passenger cars was down 10 basis points in the period, to 6.5%.

Shipments of the Group’s luxury brand, Maserati, also declined in 2018, from 51,500 in 2017 to 34,900 (-32%). According to FCA, the reduced profitability was primarily due to market challenges in China, which recorded lower volumes and an unfavourable market mix.