fiat sergio marchionne john elkann
Sergio Marchionne (left) and John Elkann

Fiat is faring little better. The European market collapse has forced CEO Sergio Marchionne to delay his plans for a full takeover of Chrysler and to use his cash to fix the Italian automaker, whose European operations are expected to run at a loss for several years.

That's a blow for the Agnelli family that controls Fiat with a 30.4% stake. The company was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli. His grandson, Gianni Agnelli, was Fiat's chairman from 1966 until 1996, and his grandson, John Elkann became chairman in 2010 at age 30.

Fiat's problems are acute. In 2012's first nine months, Group unit sales fell nearly 17% in a total market down 7%, as its plants in Italy are running at 50% of capacity. Three years ago, Fiat saved Chrysler by rescuing it from bankruptcy. Now that Chrysler is profitable, the tables may be turned.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 28 2012 06:18 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.