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Chrysler, Fiat to up production

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that the merged company will be able to increase production to more than 6 million cars a year, a level he has long said is the minimum for an automaker to compete in the global market.

Marchionne aims to complete the legal merger of Fiat and Chrysler by the end of 2014 to create Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the world’s seventh-largest automaker, and will outline a new multiyear business plan in Detroit in May.

“By 2018, Fiat will be able to make more than 6 million cars,” Marchionne told reporters after Fiat shareholders’ meeting in the Italian company’s historic headquarters in Turin. “I don’t want to give any details of the plan, but we are going in that direction.”

The carmakers delivered a combined 4.4 million cars last year, and Marchionne said they aim to sell 4.5 million to 4.6 million this year, mostly on the strength of the U.S. and Asian markets.

European group joins case against Google

Europe’s leading consumer rights advocacy group has joined an antitrust complaint against Google because it considers the display of some search results biased.

The BEUC will join an existing group of companies in trying to get Google to change the way it displays its search results.

The EU Commission has been assessing the case for three years and declined to say whether the new complaint might delay a settlement. In February, it accepted Google Inc.’s concessions to settle allegations, suggesting the case might close within months.

BEUC says the changes Google proposes would harm consumers as they would allow it to “stack its search results as suits itself.”

Mitsubishi buys Ford car plant in Philippines

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Monday it is buying Ford’s shuttered plant in the Philippines to grow in market where car ownership is on the rise.

Mitsubishi Motors said it was acquiring the plant in Laguna, south of Manila, from Ford Motor Co. to boost production and sales.

Ford closed that plant in 2012. The Tokyo automaker did not give a price.

Mitsubishi controls more than a fifth of the Philippine market, where Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. has top market share. Various automakers have their eyes on the nation because car ownership is expected to grow.

Report: Gulf region still a risk to investors

Despite improvements in regulations and moves to diversify Arab economies away from natural resources, global investors remain wary of doing business in Gulf countries because of regional upheaval and other potentially destabilizing factors, according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit released Monday.

The report found that investors are also “moving cautiously” in the region because of concerns over government transparency, foreign ownership restrictions and difficulties in enforcing commercial laws.

However, successful bids by Dubai to host the World Expo in 2020 and by Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 have helped put a spotlight on investment opportunities in the Gulf, said the report, which was sponsored by Merck Serono, a division of Merck.

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