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Fiat makes a loss but market is recovering

ITALIAN auto maker Fiat reported a second-quarter loss of 168 million euros (US$238 million) yesterday due to a steep decline in sales from a year ago - especially of trucks and commercial vehicles.

The loss compares with a net profit of 604 million euros in the same period last year. It was an improvement, however, from the first-quarter net loss of 578 million euros.

Fiat, which last month took a controlling stake in United States auto maker Chrysler, said incentives for people to scrap old cars and buy new ones in some European countries boosted lagging car sales, narrowing losses compared to the first quarter.

Turin-based Fiat, which makes cars under the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands, said revenues in the quarter were down 22.5 percent, or 13.2 billion euros, compared with 17 billion euros in the same period last year.

"The global economic crisis continued to have a significantly negative impact on demand levels for all the group's business, but with signs of improvement in certain markets compared with Q1 levels," Fiat said.

Sales of Iveco trucks suffered especially, sliding 43 percent from a year earlier.


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