According to John Elkann, the Italian-American automaker’s chairman, the email reportedly sent by the company’s chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne to its counterpart at larger US rival General Motors about a tie-up was not the only conversation.
Elkann was referring to the report by the New York Times last week that Marchionne had sent an email to Mary Barra, the chief executive officer of General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, about the idea of a merger – the report further stated the deal was rebuffed. Now, Elkann also said the conversation was not the only one held with industry competitors, with Marchionne unwilling to confirm the letter of intent to his larger peer, saying on the subject that he usually writes “lots of emails”, with Elkann being the one to confirm the actual email to GM. “It was not the only email, it was not the only conversation,” Elkann told media representatives, talking about the ongoing discussions about mergers or other deals with its rivals.
Marchionne, the architect behind the unification of Italy’s Fiat SpA with its wholly owned subsidiary – Chrysler Group LLC – last year, has been mulling for further consolidation among the auto industry players, claiming the running costs of today’s automotive revolution can only be shielded by banding together. FCA, the world’s seventh largest automaker, has been searching for a suitable partner to plug the group’s holes in certain regions and sectors of the industry.