Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne is urging people not to buy his company’s Fiat 500e electric car.
During an appearance in Washington, DC this week, Marchionne said the automaker sells the $32,650 500e at a loss.
“I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14K,” Marchionne told [via Reuters] a crowd gathered at the Brookings Institution. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.”
Marchionne noted that electrifying vehicles comes with a high price tag and that Tesla Motors (TSLA) was the only company bringing in money on plug-in cars because of the Model S sedan’s higher price point.
“I will sell the [minimum] of what I need to sell and not one more,” Marchionne said on the topic of meeting government regulations.
The 500e was created to meet fuel efficiency standards put in place by the current US administration, as well as separate mandates in California that require car makers to offer zero-emissions cars for sale, but Marchionne said he would prefer the U.S. Department of Energy simply set targets and let the automakers achieve them in their own way.
“If we just build those vehicles, we’ll be back asking…in Washington for a second bailout because we’ll be bankrupt,” Marchionne said of electric cars.
Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and received a U.S taxpayer-funded bailout. The U.S. automaker was acquired by Italy’s Fiat in a deal completed earlier this year.
Marchionne’s message isn’t new. Last year, he warned that Fiat would lose money on each car sold, arguing that governments should be encouraging more economical vehicles of all technology types, rather than focusing on electric-only.