Fiat CEO says car market may touch bottom in H2, confirms capex

MILAN Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:45pm EDT

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian carmaker Fiat FIA.MI Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the European car market could touch bottom in the second half of 2013, and confirmed the company's investment plans.

"There's an upcoming change in the political will in Europe to move the agenda in the right direction. I think that they're beginning to listen and I'm hopeful that will provide a basis for growth sometime in the second half of 2013...I think that you will see the bottom being touched, if I'm right," Marchionne told analysts on a conference call.

Marchionne confirmed plans to invest up to 8.5 billion euros this year to finance a new business plan aimed at building volumes of the company's premium brands.

"We still have the capacity of turning down the investment cycle if we want to," he said. "We will stick to the number that we gave you."

(Reporting by Jennifer Clark and Bernie Woodall, editing by Stephen Jewkes)