Chrysler 2013 free cash reduced by higher capex, less growth: CFO

DETROIT Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:58am EST

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC's forecast of reduced free cash flow in 2013 is the result of a slower rate of growth of auto sales and higher capital expenditures, Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said on Wednesday.

Chrysler said that both its 2013 and 2014 free cash flow would be about $1 billion, down from $2.2 billion last year.

Still, Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, speaking on a conference call, said 2013 free cash flow would be "well above $1 billion."

Marchionne also said on the same conference call that the company's long-term financial plans will not be adjusted until at least 2014, to allow for Chrysler's majority owner Fiat SpA FIA.MI to purchase the remaining shares owned by a retiree healthcare trust.

Currently, Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, and the healthcare trust, a voluntary employees beneficiary association, or VEBA, affiliated with the United Auto Workers union, owns 41.5 percent.

(Reporting By Bernie Woodall)

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