- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2014

The CEO of the newly combined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is urging consumers to steer clear of its 500e electric car, because he’s tired of losing money on the government-mandated vehicles.

Speaking at a conference in Washington on Wednesday, Sergio Marchionne criticized the federal and state mandates that push automakers to build electric cars, Reuters reported. He said he wishes the U.S. Department of Energy simply set targets and let the automakers achieve them in their own way, the news agency reported.

“I hope you don’t buy [the 500e] because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” he told an audience at the Brookings Institution. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.”

“I will sell the [minimum] of what I need to sell and not one more,” he added.

U.S. automaker Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and received a taxpayer-funded bailout. Italy’s Fiat became Chrysler’s full owner in January, Reuters reported.

“If we just build those vehicles, we’ll be back asking … in Washington for a second bailout because we’ll be bankrupt,” Mr. Marchionne said.

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