Fiat-Chrysler Exec: No Recovery Seen In Italy

MILAN (AP) -- Fiat-Chrysler's head of European operations says the last months of the year will be especially difficult for the Italian market.

Alfredo Altavilla told reporters Thursday that while car sales in some European markets are slightly improving, "in Italy there are no signs yet of recovery." Altavilla said the real problem in Italy is the "lack of consumer spending."

Last week, Fiat said it expected European car sales to be up slightly, but it put Italy at 1.3 million units, down 7 percent from 1.4 million last year, when the market hit levels last seen in 1979.

Altavilla confirmed Fiat's forecast to break even by 2015 or 2016, despite the ongoing slump in Italian sales, which represent 10 percent of Fiat's European volumes.