FCA boss Sergio Marchionne is keen to merge with General Motors, but GM boss Mary Barra says the firm will go it alone
Darren Moss
2 September 2015

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boss Sergio Marchionne is reportedly seeking a merger for his company with General Motors, but GM officials are cold to the idea.

Speaking to industry journal Automotive News Europe, Marchionne said a merger between the two companies would result in "cataclysmic changes in performance" for the two automotive giants. "I've gone through product by product, plant by plant, area by area, and I've analyzed them all," he said.

“I've obviously made some arbitrary assumptions about which architectures survive, which engines survive, and the only deal that offers them the same benefits as we potentially get ... is us.”

However, Marchionne has also said that GM officials have been cold on any negotiations, saying: "I've offered to sit down with them and take them through the numbers

“They won't listen. And that kind of abject refusal to engage ... the capital markets won't understand why you are rejecting the discussion.

“You may reject the deal but you can't reject the discussion. If you're refusing to talk to me, and you have seen nothing, you either think you're above it all, or you think the capital markets are full of schmucks that owe you something.”

For its part, a statement for General Motors says the company has "responded appropriately" to any "outreaches" that it has received.

GM boss Mary Barra said back in June that Marchionne had emailed her with proposals for a merger, but that the GM board gave "strong support" to the company continuing on its own parth. During a media briefing at GM's annual meeting, Barra said the propsal was: "very much vetted with management and our board, and after we reviewed that we are committed to our plan…and we have strong support."

"We have scale. We have leveraged the appropriate opportunities."

In Europe, Fiat-Chrysler is currently focusing on the relaunch of Alfa Romeo with the new Giulia, and on re-branding the Fiat brand into two distinct arms - dubbed 'emotional' and 'rational'.

Industry analyst Max Warburton has warned investors that merging FCA and GM would be "an operational and management nightmare" but concedes that "if anyone can smash through the issues and make it function, it would be Marchionne."

GM is seen as being the latest target of FCA's merger aspirations. Back in April, PSA Peugeot-Citroën ruled itself out of a merger with FCA, at least until the French firm had completed its 'Back in the Race' revival plan. In May of this year, FCA renewed its call for more mergers in the automotive industry.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate

Comments
9

2 September 2015
With the exceptions of Ferrari and the recent VM Motori 3.0V6 diesel, part-funded by GM but their interest abandoned during bankrupcy, FCA has nothing to offer GM, indeed they've already screwed $2 billion out of GM over the previous failed alliance.

FCA needs huge investment in platforms and powertrains, but they haven't got the funds - this is a desparation measure.

2 September 2015
has some sand - but I can't see what it's based on. He's been in place for a few years now. He's reduced Fiat to effectively a one product (500 range) company; Alfa might come good, who knows, but no sign of it after three or four re-launches since the 1960s; he's selling of Ferrari which must complicate the future for Maserati. The group has no decent diesels which is a pretty big deal in Europe. We've had Chevrolet in Europe and then out of it again. Where's the strategy? Where's the cohesion. As I say he's got some sand but has he got any marbles?

2 September 2015
Run.

2 September 2015
GM is only king in the US, they do not have a truly global model, while FIAT could boast the 500, however, they both are walking wounded.
In the past, FIAT has rejected overtures from Ford but they might be the logical bedfellow, Ford have many truly Global models and some cracking small cylinder engines, not to mention the fabulously looking GT. Maybe it's time FIAT say yes to Ford?

3 September 2015
Factczech wrote:

GM is only king in the US, they do not have a truly global model...

GM is also very big China and Middle East as well as having a sizable presence in South America. I'm not sure if you would call the Vauxhall Insignia a truly global model, but it also sells under the Opel badge in Europe and under Buick brand (albeit with different styling) in the North/South America and China.

2 September 2015
At one point last year Vauxhall had 4 cars in the top 10 in the UK, Fiat had a bad reputation and no cars in the top 10, not even the 500. Although I did like the SUV 500 till I worked out the price.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

3 September 2015
Marchionne, like many in business, is trying to have investors and customers believe that there are no problems, only opportunities, which is wrong. The takeover by FIAT of Chrysler was a combination of two failures, which does not easily make for success. Alfa, JEEP and Maserati, in the right hands, might have potential for success if sold off but the rest (FIAT, Chrysler and Dodge) are firesale material. Maybe a Chinese or Indian company would see them as offering some technology and foreign footholds but the bring little to the major manufacturers.

3 September 2015
"...if anyone can smash through the issues and make it function, it would be Marchionne." Yeah, cos he's done such a fantastic job with FCA. Let's list his achievements: a revitalised Fiat producing a broad range of cars from superminis to crossovers and SUVs, to challenge VW head-on. Successfully relaunching Lancia into the luxury market, making it a worthy competitor to Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. Successfully relaunching Alfa-Romeo as a premium maker of sports saloons, coupes and convertibles, a worthy competitor to BMW. Oh, hang on a minute...

3 September 2015
More than he likes cars, I think.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK