Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) financial performance last year came in at the top end of the company's own forecasts, chief executive Sergio Marchionne said in Detroit on Monday.
The carmaker has said it would report 2015 adjusted operating profit of at least EUR4.5bn (US$4.9bn) and sees net debt dropping to between EUR6.6 and EUR7.1bn.
"The year has gone well, above expectations," Marchionne told Reuters on the sidelines of the motor show.
FCA will report full year results at the end of this month.
Asked by Reuters whether he also confirmed a goal to sell about 7m cars in 2018, Marchionne said the carmaker would meet the financial targets it set as part of its five-year business plan to 2018 but added it did not matter how many cars the company was selling to get there.
One of the main targets was to eliminate its net industrial debt, which stood at EUR7.85bn at the end of September, which would give FCA "the security to face whatever challenge, even if I'm not around", added Marchionne, who has pledged to step down after the plan is completed.
Marchionne, who has called for mergers in the industry to share the costs of developing more intelligent and cleaner cars, said he had not abandoned his push for consolidation, which he said was fundamental to the future of the car industry.
Marchionne added he was talking to Google and other companies in Silicon Valley on a possible collaboration, but there was nothing to announce yet.