Marchionne: I will fight like hell to keep Fiat profitable in 2009

While many auto manufacturer CEOs are admitting that their companies will report a loss for 2009, Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne says he will “fight like hell” to make sure his company makes money in what is said to be the worst year for the auto industry in decades.

“I think the first duty of a leader is to keep his company in the black,” Marchionne said. To accept – and announce – at the beginning of the year that you will lose money is the worst sign of leadership you could give to your troops.”

He said such statements hurt employee moral and make it seem like losing money and reporting losses is “ok.”

According to Automotive News, Marchionne’s statement and views are relevant since he rescued Fiat five years ago by setting and meeting impossible goals.

“Car markets have gone from bad to horrible so far this year, but I will fight like hell to keep Fiat Group Automobiles profitable in 2009,” Marchionne told Automotive News.