Fiat losses widen in Ireland as demand stalls
LOSSES at the Irish business of Fiat widened last year, as the motor industry continued to be battered in this country.
Accounts just filed for 2011 by Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland Limited show the company lost €6.04m compared to €4.5m in 2010.
The company runs the distribution here for Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars as well as a spare parts service.
Turnover slumped by nearly €8m to €18.7m overall, and the company's directors said there is little reason to believe the difficult trading conditions would change soon.
"It is anticipated that the difficult trading conditions will continue into 2012 as the government austerity measures continue to bite into customer sentiment," the directors stated.
Despite that, the company is taking on the Chrysler and Jeep brands, which, combined with "significant new product from Fiat, the company's presence in more segments should result in more opportunities, especially in the crucial fleet market".
On average, Fiat's 23 staff here earned average salaries of nearly €94,000 during 2011 when employee costs are included, although total salaries and other costs fell more than €350,000 during the year.
Fiat's woes are a reflection of the wider malaise in the motoring sector in Ireland overall.
A host of high-profile dealers have shut down in recent years, while Renault took over its business from Bill Cullen after more than two decades earlier this year. Last week it emerged that Danske Bank was pursuing Mr Cullen over an alleged unpaid debt of €8.2m.