Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne said the automaker and US partner Chrysler aim to sell a combined 4.1m-4.4m vehicles this year, up slightly from the 4m sold in 2011.

He said the most notable rise in sales will likely be in North America, where Chrysler has been making strong gains, Dow Jones reported.

“We expect the market will rise again in North America and our share of it as well,” Marchionne said at the annual shareholders meeting in Turin.

The target includes 2m vehicle sales in North America, up to 1m in Latin America, and up to 1.3m in Europe.

European new car sales will decline for the fifth consecutive year in 2012 to 13m, from 13.1m in 2011, Marchionne predicted, according to Reuters.

Almost 16m new cars were sold in 2007, before the start of the financial crisis, according to lobby group ACEA.

Marchionne said he saw the group’s three core mass market brands, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia, breaking even in 2014 – the brands lost money in 2011.