Sergio Marchionne has apparently turned on his heel. Just a few weeks after controversially campaigning for a partner to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), he simply told dealers, “Never mind.”
The Chrysler CEO had openly tried to make General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, and several others, believe that a merger with the multinational automobile manufacturing company would be a mutually beneficial deal. In fact, he went so far as to say that it would be the best path for both firms to cope with the extreme capital demands and low financial returns of their industry.
In spite of all that, Marchionne, 63, announced to FCA’s 7,000 dealers at a conference in Las Vegas this week that the Chrysler Fiat establishment could indeed stand on its own just fine.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that he claimed to not be “under pressure” to find a merger partner and that the “company can finance a competent product portfolio on its own.”
In addition, Automotive News more specifically reported that the Italian Chairman was insistent about his high-profile public lobbying of FCA’s merger to GM not being a “slash-and-burn strategy.”
Marchionne also claimed that any potential merger would not “have an impact on dealers” in any way. This news clearly came as a reassurance to employees of the car company, who were nervous about the news of a possible new boss.
To highlight his statement about Fiat Chrysler’s viability, the CEO also paraded quite a few redesigned and fresh models, including a couple of jeeps and a hybrid plug-in minivan. Marchionne also informed everyone about the admittedly ambitious new-product strategy for the upcoming years.
Buss, D., “Marchionne Tells Dealers Fiat Chrysler Can Stand On Its Own After All,” Forbes web site, August 27, 2015; http://goo.gl/cR6pQx.