Fiat said today that it earned a profit of 358 million euro or $440 million during the second quarter, because of the inclusion of profits from Chrysler.
Without Chrysler, Fiat would have lost 246 million euros or $302 million.
The Italian automaker said Chrysler generated a profit of 604 million euros or $742.9 million under the European accounting system. On Monday, Chrysler reported a $436-million profit in the same period under U.S. accounting standards.
The results are a steep decline from the second quarter in 2011 when Fiat earned a profit of $1.24 billion euro, or $1.52 billion.
Fiat, like many European automakers, is struggling in Europe where industry sales are on track to decline for the fifth year in a row and the European Central Bank and Eurozone members have been forced to bail out various countries and banks.
The crisis is hitting southern Europe-based automakers such as Fiat and Peugeot Citroen especially hard.
Ford said Wednesday that it expects to lose $1 billion in Europe this year and General Motors, which has shuffled its management team in Europe and has launched a restructuring plan, is expected to report a loss for its European operations on Thursday.
Still, Fiat's shares fell 7 cents on Tuesday even after Chrysler reported strong results for its operations, which are mostly in North America.
At mid-afternoon today in Italy Fiat was trading at 4.11 euros, down from a close of 4.17 euros on Monday.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is working to build the two companies into a global automaker that can sell six million cars and trucks annually by 2014.
Fiat owns 58.5% of Chrysler and notified the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust earlier this month that it wants to exercise an option to purchase an additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares. That would increase Fiat's stake to 61.8% of Chrysler. The trust currently owns 41.5% of Chrysler.
On Monday, Marchionne praised Chrysler employees for the progress that the company, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, has made.
"We have learned that we can accomplish great things when we marshal all of our talent and commitment to work for a common goal," Marchionne said in the email, obtained by the Free Press.
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