Chrysler 2013 Q1 earnings slightly lower than yr ago: CEO

MILAN Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:56am EST

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat FIA.MI Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday that its U.S. unit Chrysler would have slightly lower earnings in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago because of production declines related to new product launches.

"We will be under-producing compared to the first quarter of 2012, so the performance of Chrysler in the first quarter of this year is expected to be lower," Marchionne said on a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

Chrysler will launch a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a new Liberty.

Marchionne said the earnings impact would be a one time event. He did not provide further details.

(Reporting by Jennifer Clark, editing by Danilo Masoni)