Fiat has recorded a net loss of 179 million euro (£155 million) in the second quarter of 2009.
In a statement accompanying the figures, the Italian firm described the car industry as “an extremely difficult trading environment”. Fiat’s loss is in stark contrast to the 646 million euro (£560 million) profit it made in the same period last year.
Fiat has recently bought a stake in ailing American manufacturer Chrysler and has also expressed interest in Opel/Vauxhall and Italian coachbuilder Bertone.
The firm’s chances of acquiring Opel/Vauxhall seem to be diminishing, however, after CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed it would not be improving its offer.
Marchionne has said a car manufacturer needs to produce more than six million units per year if it is to becoming profitable. After Fiat acquired its 20 per cent stake in Chrysler, its annual group output, which also includes Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Lancia, rises to 4.5 million units per year.
A Fiat statement said, “The global economic crisis continued to have a significantly negative impact on demand levels for all of the Group’s businesses, but with signs of improvement in certain markets compared with Q1 levels.”
Fiat remains confident that 2009 will still be a positive year for its business, with European scrappage schemes expected to offset losses earlier this year.
“We expect an improvement in the remainder of the year as trading conditions stabilise and improve for most of our businesses,” said the statement.