Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2012: Fiat ‘open to Volvo talks’
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is open to the prospect of a tie-up with Swedish firm Volvo
Mark Tisshaw
News
2 mins read
8 March 2012

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is keen to talk to Volvo as the Swedish firm’s hunt for a partner in developing small cars continues. “I’m interested in talking to everyone that wants to talk to me,” said Marchionne at the Geneva motor show.

Volvo has no long-term tie-up with Ford anymore after it was sold to Chinese firm Geely. The firm has developed a new range of four-cylinder engines and a scalable platform for mid-large sized cars, but a small car platform is absent from its armoury.

“We are open for partners,” Volvo’s chief executive Stefan Jacoby said in January. “We are open for collaboration in a win-win situation for sharing platforms, for sharing engines and for a general higher scale of economics.”

Marchionne also revealed he’d had talks with several Japanese companies, believed to include Mazda and Suzuki, regarding future alternative drivetrains, but he planned to persist with improving internal combustion engine technology due to the high costs of new alternative technology.

“There’s still lots of unexplored technology with combustion,” he said. “Future drivetrains need to be cheaper and more cost effective. You just won’t sell any cars at that price in the B-segment.”

An all-electric version of the Fiat 500 will be launched by the end of the year, which pools in technology from a whole host of companies to remove the costly development away from Fiat.

“I don’t want to trial a load of future solutions,” he said. “We will take the benefits of others’ work.”

On the subject of partnerships, Marchionne said he never tried to make a deal with PSA Peugeot-Citroen before the French firm made a deal with General Motors. “I would not like to be GM,” he said. “The integration for the cost does not go far enough and would not have met our requirments.”

Fiat did previously have highly-publicised talks with General Motors regarding a purchase of Opel-Vauxhall and Saab in 2009, and Marchionne said he could have “found a solution for the brands”.

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Volvophile 10 March 2012

Re: Fiat ‘open to Volvo talks’

xxxx wrote:
That's funny

It's actually true in relation to some models that are sold in the US. Ford's Taurus, Flex, Explorer, Lincoln MKS and MKT are all based on a platform that originated in the 1998 Volvo S80.

xxxx 9 March 2012

Re: Fiat ‘open to Volvo talks’

newtoybox wrote:
xxxx wrote:

rbrown89 wrote:
xxxx wrote:

That fact doesn't make sense of the statement. Why say Volvo has no long-term tie-up with Ford when for the next 6 years at least they're dependant on them.

I took that to mean that there was no long-term tie-up in terms of future development, given that by facelift time for the V40 I would imagine they would begin installing the in-house developed modular engine family.

Even if they did that they'd be putting them in a Ford Focus Chassis

I believe it would be more accurate to say Ford are putting the Focus on a Volvo developed chassis.

That's funny

disco.stu 9 March 2012

Re: Fiat ‘open to Volvo talks’

xxxx wrote:

rbrown89 wrote:
xxxx wrote:

The following statement seems strange considering they've about to release the V40 with Ford petrol engines and a Ford Chassis, both of which will be used for a minium of 6 years.

"Volvo has no long-term tie-up with Ford anymore after it was sold to Chinese firm Geely. The firm has developed a new range of four-cylinder engines and a scalable platform for mid-large sized cars"

I believe that the majority of development work on the V40 was done while the company was still under the ownership of Ford, as Geely only took ownership in August 2010. Hence the V40 sharing the platform and engines with Ford still.

That fact doesn't make sense of the statement. Why say Volvo has no long-term tie-up with Ford when for the next 6 years at least they're dependant on them.

It makes perfect sense; you're just not thinking far enough ahead. If Fiat and Volvo started negotiating today, and concluded an agreement within the next 6 months, it would take another 6-12 months to be put into place, and another couple of years to integrate Volvo into Fiat's systems (and vice versa). Which would be perfect timing to then start developing the next Volvo V40... Besides, in the shorter term they could be working on upgrading Volvo's other models using Fiat technology and components.

Look at Chrysler; they are still not fully integrated with Fiat, but they are getting there, and the first all-new models are starting to come through.

Presumably, for all this to happen, Volvo's agreement with Ford must allow them to continue using Ford IP in their current range, unlike Saab's position within GM.

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