Fiat has announced that profit at its vehicle division nearly doubled in the second quarter as it increased market share in Europe. The company also predicted that its full year profits will be at the top end of its target range. The once-failing group has been turned around by Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne who has focused on core businesses, cut costs and made strategic alliances. Compared with the same period last year turnover at 15.2 billion euros was 12% higher. Fiat said net income was 627 million euros, up 90%. Deliveries worldwide rose 12.2% to 578,700 vehicles.
Fiat’s sales rose by 7.2% in the first half of this year, making it Europe’s fastest-growing carmaker. The Punto, Panda and the new Bravo helped the company increase its deliveries in the competitive western European market in the second quarter by 3.8%, even as the region’s drivers bought fewer vehicles leading to an overall slowdown in sales of 1.4%. Fiat shares have risen more than 60% in value this year but fell slightly as the results were announced. Analysts said that was because investors were selling to take profits.