Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sees better 1st quarter

STERLING HEIGHTS, Michigan March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:48pm EDT

STERLING HEIGHTS, Michigan March 14 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) should see a better first quarter than the automaker had last year, its chief executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday.

"Directionally, we should have a better quarter than last year," he told reporters at a Chrysler plant in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Michigan, a factory that had been slated for closure when Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in 2009 but that Fiat has spent $1 billion renovating.

Marchionne said the company planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange in early October but that the actual timing might be delayed by as much as 90 days.

"We're running against the clock" Marchionne said "It's a complicated process because of listing requirements and so on."

His comments forecasting better first-quarter results echoed comments he made on Thursday when Italian news agency Radiocor reported that Marchionne said trading profit in the first quarter should be higher, as the U.S. car market continued to perform well.

FCA was set up after Italian carmaker Fiat took full control of U.S. Chrysler in January in a $4.35 billion deal to create the world's seventh-largest auto group.

The group recently cut its 2014 profit forecast after an 80-percent slump in Latin American core earnings in the final quarter of 2013.