Fiat changes name, disappoints with profits

Italian car giant Fiat announced Wednesday it was changing its name after completing the purchase of US automaker Chrysler to "Fiat Chrysler Automobiles" and would list its shares in New York and Milan.

"In order to establish a true peer to the major global automotive groups, in both scale and capital market appeal, the Board has decided to establish Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., organized in the Netherlands, as the parent company of the Group," the group said in a statement.

Fiat chairman John Elkann said the name change heralded "a new chapter".

"A journey that started over a decade ago, as Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths," he said.

"FCA allows us to face the future with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor," he added.

The company said Fiat shareholders would receive one FCA common share for each Fiat share they hold. FCA will be resident in the UK for tax purposes.

Earlier on Wednesday, Fiat reported 2013 results which were below analysts expectations and said it would be waiving dividends, causing shares in the group to plummet.

The carmaker reported a trading profit of 931 million euros ($1.27 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2013, less than the 1.5 billion euros forecast by analysts.

It also cut its 2014 forecast more than expected, to between 3.6 to 4.0 billion euros -- down from a previous estimate of up to 5.2 billion euros.

Subsequently, the board of directors "has decided not to recommend a dividend payment on Fiat shares, given the company's desire to maintain a balanced level of liquidity following the acquisition of the minority stake in Chrysler Group LLC," the company said in a statement.

Shares were down 6.30 percent on the FTSE Mib market at 1300 GMT.

Fiat blamed in part the profit drop on conditions in Latin America, which it said was due primarily to "input cost inflation, unfavourable production mix and lower result in Venezuela."

ahe/ide/rl