Currently reading: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seeks merger with General Motors
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
News
2 mins read
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.

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Daniel Joseph 3 September 2015

Seriously?

"...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...
Bullfinch 3 September 2015

He likes talking deals.

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

Marchionne, like many in

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.
xxxx 2 September 2015

Not just the US, GM going great in UK

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.