From Deutsche Presse-Agentur
DETROIT — The loss-making U.S. automotive concern Chrysler announced Sunday at the annual Detroit motor show that it was setting itself the goal of doubling international sales in less than five years.
Speaking at the event, Chrysler head Robert Nardelli said there was still room for global growth in the car manufacturing industry.
In 2007, Chrysler – the third largest U.S. auto producer – had a 15 percent increase of sales outside North America to around 238,000 cars. In doing so, the company sold less than 10 percent of its cars outside its home market.
Chrysler President Tom LaSorda said the company wanted as quickly as possible to partner with other producers to offer small cars in Europe. He specified a timeline of a "couple of years."
He added that an extension of the current cooperation with Asian partners such a Chery in China and Nissan in Japan was also possible.
The company would not provide any concrete prognosis for sales and results for the current year, saying only that sales to private customers were expected at least to remain stable or increase lightly in 2008, while sales of fleets was expected to drop.
In 2007, Chrysler sold 2.68 million cars worldwide – around one percent fewer than in 2006.
According to earlier reports, Nardelli was assuming a loss for 2007 of at least $1.6 billion.
As a private company, Chrysler is no longer required to present financial figures.
A majority stake in Chrysler was sold last summer to the U.S. financial investor Cerberus by the German concern Daimler. Since then, decisions at Chrysler have been made a markedly quicker pace, said LaSorda, who was Chrysler chief executive during the Daimler era.
Copyright 2008 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH