Fiat CEO accuses Volkswagen of waging price war: report

MILAN Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:55am EDT

Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne gestures during the official presentation of the new Fiat 500L car in downtown Turin July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne gestures during the official presentation of the new Fiat 500L car in downtown Turin July 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Giorgio Perottino

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian car maker Fiat's FIA.MI chief executive Sergio Marchionne accused German rival Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) of being too aggressive in its pricing strategy, when conditions are already tough in the European auto industry.

"It's a bloodbath of pricing and it's a bloodbath on margins," he was quoted as saying by the International Herald Tribune on Thursday.

Marchionne, who is also head of U.S. automaker Chrysler, called for the European Commission to step in and help the sector face its huge overcapacity problems, the paper said.

"What they should do is coordinate a rationalization of the industry across the producing companies," he said. "The ones that really have not acted on this are the French and the Germans, who have not taken out any capacity at all."

Results from European mass-market car makers this week are set to mirror the region's debt crisis as Germany's Volkswagen weathers the deepening slump while peers PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Fiat struggle with plunging Mediterranean sales.

(Reporting By Danilo Masoni. Editing by Jane Merriman)