Sergio Marchionne Sees 50% Chance Chrysler Will Go Public image

Sergio Marchionne announced he sees a 50% chance Chrysler will go public, but that he still prefers to see Fiat and Chrysler fully merged.

“My preference is to be one single company,” Marchionne told reporters in Kokomo, Indiana, on Thursday. “We belong together.”

It’s been four years since Fiat and Chrysler have begun blending their operations, with the Italian automaker gradually increasing its stake in the US company. Now Fiat’s plan to acquire the company has been put on hold as the automaker and VEBA, a retiree trust fund affiliated with the United Auto Workers labor union, cannot agree over the value of the rest of the stake. VEBA tries to get a sum as higher as possible from Chrysler’s shares to pay for medical benefits.

Recently, Chrysler announced its plans to invest $374 million in four plants in Indiana to increase and support production of fuel-efficient eight- and nine-speed transmissions by the end of 2013. The automaker will add 1,250 new jobs in Indiana, from which 850 at Chrysler’s new Tipton Transmission Plant. The money will be invested in additional equipment and tooling necessary to manufacture Chrysler’s eight- and nine-speed transmissions.