According to chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the third largest US automaker and the world’s seventh biggest is still a long way from proposing anything to the investors of larger competitor General Motors.
Marchionne, a merger expert that managed to unite Italy’s Fiat SpA with its wholly owned subsidiary Chrysler group LLC last year, has been mulling an auto industry consolidation process, aiming to merge his company with a potential cash-rich suitor to lower the expenses needed to develop new models. He envisioned as one of the best possible partners as being General Motors, the third largest automaker in the world and the biggest in the US, but was firmly rejected by GM CEO Mary Barra and the rivals’ board of directors. From then on, rumors spread that Marchionne remained undeterred and wanted to court Gm shareholders to force the management at the discussions table. “We are very far removed from any of those scenarios today,” said Marchionne on the sidelines of the launch of a new Alfa Romeo model. “None of my staff has spoken to them, I haven’t spoken to them, nobody is under instruction to speak to them,” he added. He was also asked if he would consider a hostile merger attempt, but Marchionne shunned the idea because he considered actions in a hostile manner would mean more capital would be lost.
Marchionne instead said he was focusing on the rebirth of the Alfa Romeo premium sporty brand, hoping it would grow to achieve the global profile that the mass-market Fiat brand could not. He wants the 105 year old brand to jump to 400,000 deliveries by 2018 as the company invests five billion euros in the development of eight new models, including the new Giulia midsize sedan.