Fiat's chance of making a profit in the fourth quarter of this year will depend on how many cars it sells in December, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne reportedly said on Monday.

"Everything depends on December," Marchionne told Reuters after a meeting with Italy's welfare minister Roberto Maroni. "I am optimistic that Fiat can do it."

Marchionne met Maroni to discuss planned job cuts at the Italian carmaker, the report said.

Reuters noted that Fiat in November took more than 30% of the Italian car market for the first time in almost two years as new models started to win back buyers.

Fiat is targeting a group net profit in the full year 2005, with Fiat Auto narrowing its trading loss to 1.5% of sales before pulling back into profit in 2006, the report added.

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