Tributes have poured in from across the car industry following the death of Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne.
The death of such an ebullient character who achieved so much was always going to trigger wide regret. However, his very individual approach to business and the industry also provided some rich stories from people he came into contact with from across the entire industry. We start with the tributes from industry leaders:
Mike Manley - CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Manley asked for a minute of silence before FCA’s Q2 earnings call on Wednesday in honour of Marchionne. He stated:
"Having spent the last 9 years seeing or talking to Sergio on an almost daily basis, this morning's news is heartbreaking. There is no doubt that Sergio was a very special, unique man & there is no doubt that he’s going to be sorely missed."
John Elkann - Chairman, Ferrari
"I praise his values of humanity, responsibility and open-mindedness... my family and I will always be grateful for what he has done."
Klaus Busse - Head of design, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
“Design reviews with him weren’t easy… if he did not like what he saw he made sure you knew (and in hindsight he was always right). When he liked it, it came with a cliffhanger “what the f*** is this? - it looks amazing!” Will miss him. RIP.
Mary Barra - CEO, General Motors
“We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne’s family and friends. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss.”
Bill Ford - Chairman, Ford Motor Company
“Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker. His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time."
Carlos Ghosn - CEO, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi
"Our entire team at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi were saddened to learn of the death of Sergio Marchionne. At this difficult time, we would like to express our sympathies to the Marchionne family, to our colleagues at Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari and CNH International."
Dieter Zetsche - CEO, Daimler AG
“The auto industry has lost a real giant. And many of us have lost a very dear friend: Sergio Marchionne.”
Linda Jackson - CEO, Citroën
“[I had the] greatest respect for Sergio Marchionne. Great loss for the automotive industry. My thoughts are with his family.”
John Krafcik - CEO, Waymo
“Sergio was a determined leader with a clear vision. All of us at Waymo are saddened by the news and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Andy Palmer - CEO, Aston Martin
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sergio Marchionne. On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Lagonda, I would like to extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles."
Chase Carey - CEO, Formula 1
“He was a great leader of not just Formula 1 and the automobile world, but the business world overall. He led with great passion, energy and insight, and inspired all around him. His contributions to Formula 1 are immeasurable. He was also a true friend to all of us and he will be deeply missed. At this difficult time, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Carlos Tavares - CEO, PSA
"I am deeply saddened by this loss and extend my sincere condolences to the family of Sergio Marchionne. I salute the memory of a great captain of industry who will remain an example for us all."
Bob Lutz - former vice chairman, General Motors
[As told to CNBC]
"I think he was a very effective leader and one of his hallmarks is he had a very clear vision of where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do. Whether it was popular or not or whether there was consensus in the company or not, he would pursue that.
"…Unfortunately, extremely nice people who try to be accommodating to everybody’s wishes almost never get anything done, especially in a large corporation. I knew him as a brilliant leader, wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, sometimes opened himself to ridicule. His fundamental ideas were always correct ... I think he’ll be remembered for basically saving two companies at the same time.”
Tim Cook – CEO, Apple
“Sad to hear of the unexpected passing of Sergio Marchionne, an auto industry visionary and a remarkable leader. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone at Fiat Chrysler.”
Jean Todt - President, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
“It is with great sadness that I learned that Sergio Marchionne tragically and unexpectedly passed away. Sergio achieved a colossal amount for the automotive industry and motor sport worldwide. He dedicated himself fully to turn around the Fiat Chrysler group and put all his energy to bring Scuderia Ferrari back to the top.
He was an endearing, upstanding and brave man, an unconventional and visionary leader. He was an eminent member of the FIA F1 Strategy Group and of the FIA High-Level Panel for Road Safety. His death is a considerable loss. On behalf of the entire FIA community, all my thoughts go out to his family, his friends and his Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler group teams."
Gary Jones - President, United Auto Workers union
“During the industry’s dark days of the recession, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM were at a perilous point. Working with the UAW members, the FCA rebirth was born when many doubted it would come. As in all labor-management relationships, there were clashes and disagreements.”
“And when history looks back at his legacy, despite bumps and bruises along the way, in the end, the sun wasn’t setting when he left the company, the sun was rising. That will long be remembered.”
Francesca Re David - Secretary general, FIOM (Italian metalworkers union)
“(He was) a man with whom we have had bitter clashes over the years and who represented a model of relations with the unions which was at the center of a deep conflict with FIOM. Marchionne has been an adversary whose value we recognize. To his family, we send the condolences of our organization.”
Wes Lutz - Chairman, National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
“NADA is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne was a force of nature and a true visionary within our industry. Franchised dealers will always be grateful for his unrelenting drive and incredible focus, which not only helped steer one of the world’s most iconic brands through some pretty dark days, but through foresight helped position that brand for success and growth in a changing market.
He will leave a lasting legacy, and will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.”
Chris Harris – presenter, Top Gear
And so we come to the journalists and their stories...
"[My] abiding memory of Marchionne was at [the] Fiat 500 launch [in 2007]. Never seen an auto exec look so proud."
“He could talk Jeep fuel economy or quote Wittgenstein with a twinkle in his eye. But my favorite moment was when a worker admired his expensive watch during a plant event. Marchionne promptly took off the watch and gave it to him. RIP.”
Lionel Barber - Editor, Financial Times
"Sergio Marchionne RIP. A showman with a huge heart, he saved Fiat, transformed Chrysler. We will miss him dearly."
Henry Foy - Correspondent, Financial Times
"Marchionne was hired to fix Fiat in 2004 when the Italian carmaker was worth $7.5bn. Today he died, with Fiat, Chrysler and Ferrari [are] worth roughly 10 times that. He was the smartest man I ever interviewed, and the car industry will never replace him."
Andrew Frankel - Senior contributing writer - Autocar
“My favourite Marchionne moment came when he turned up at Fiorano [Ferrari's test circuit] one day I was there, so I marched up to him and asked whether a new [Ferrari] Dino was a question of if or when. He looked me in the eye and said 'when'. A journo's dream response. Shame he didn't live to see it launched. RIP.”
Steve Cropley - Editor-in-chief, Autocar
“He was one of my heroes, in a way. I will especially miss the bravura press conferences, though not the wait (up to 45 minutes) for them to start. He wasn’t a car guy in the classic sense, but had a far better effect on the business than many who are."
McLaren F1 Team
And so we come to the race teams and other organisations...
“All at McLaren are saddened to hear that Sergio Marchionne has passed away. Our respects and condolences to his family and the whole Scuderia Ferrari team.”
“We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Sergio Marchionne. On behalf of all at Williams, we would like to express our condolences to Sergio’s family, friends and Scuderia Ferrari.”
Red Bull Racing
“Condolences to the family and friends of Sergio Marchionne. A great competitor on and off track @scuderiaferrari. Riposi in pace."
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
“We mourn the passing of auto industry legend Sergio Marchionne. He helped multiple companies (Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, CNH Industrial) tap the public markets, creating thousands of jobs across the globe.” PICTURE: Marchionne attends the debut of Ferrari on the NYSE in October 2015. Company stock code? RACE.
Sergio Mattarella - Italian president
And finally to the politicians...
“Marchionne wrote an important page in the history of Italian industry. As leader of Fiat, he went through years of very deep and radical transformation of markets, production systems, financial strategies and trade union relations."
Silvio Berlusconi - former prime minister of Italy
"With Sergio Marchionne, Italy loses not only the most brilliant of its managers, but one of the symbolic figures of our country. He represented the best of Italy."