Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is now considered the guru of auto industry mergers, and he has been seeking a iconic level to his fame for some time now.
Marchionne, almost since he finished up the full merger of Italy’s Fiat SpA with wholly owned subsidiary Chrysler Group LLC, has been preaching relentlessly about auto industry consolidation, seen as the only way to save money during these troubled times. The company head recently sent an email to GM chief executive officer Mary Barra asking for a meeting to discuss the possibility of a mega-partnership, but was bluntly turned down. Now, according to a recent report from Bloomberg citing persons that have knowledge of the situation, the top executive has been on the lookout for new merger candidates and chances to strike a friendly deal. He has attracted the help of an advisory firm to gauge investor interest about a combination of FCA – the seventh largest automaker in the world with GM, the third biggest carmaker on the planet. But he is also mulling other rivals as the Detroit peer shows continued signs of lack of interest.
The Plan B includes France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen as a fallback scenario, said two sources, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the information. Marchionne is believed to have not abandoned the idea of forcing GM to the negotiation room under investor pressure, but the executive is also exploring other options as Barra and her board of directors have been pretty adamant at saying no.