By on July 25, 2013

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Once the merger he plans for Fiat and Chrysler goes through, Sergio Marchionne says that Fiat-Chrysler could be registered as a corporation in the Netherlands, not Italy or the United States. Marchionne wants to have the combined company’s primary stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange and rules for corporate governance in the Netherlands are similar to those in the States.

 

Fiat Industrial is already moving its corporate headquarters to the Netherlands after its merger with its own American unit, CNH, is finalized in a few months, and when asked by Reuters if Fiat-Chrysler could do likewise, Marchionne said, “It’s possible”.

Chrysler is currently in talks with the UAW’s VEBA to buy the remaining 41.5% of Chrysler that it doesn’t yet own. A Delaware court is expected to rule on a price dispute with VEBA, which should resolve not just questions about how much it’s going to cost Fiat but also about the timetable of the two companies’ merger.

Marchionne wouldn’t comment on 2nd quarter earnings which are starting to be reported by automakers. Fiat’s financials will be released next week. Analysts predict a group before tax profit of $1.32 billion and a net profit of $402 million for the quarter, about what they earned in 2012.

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24 Comments on “Marchionne: Fiat-Chrysler Could Be Dutch, Not Italian or American...”


  • avatar

    I honestly don’t care who owns it.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Every single car you make needs an “SRT” version.

    Town &Country SRT
    Dart SRT
    Durango SRT
    200 SRT

    I may sound crazy, but I’ll bet that turbo charging the Pentastar, adding AWD and keeping entry prices low will allow Chrysler’s image to leapfrog.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Chrysler’s image, I think — at least among the import-friendly, higher-transaction-price consumers they want to attract — is that they make unreliable cars for an, ahem, downmarket demographic. If that’s true, none of this would help: cheap performance cars attract hoons and wannabes, and adding more fragile technology to cars likely to be abused by their first owners isn’t going to improve durability.

      • 0 avatar

        I disagree entirely.

        #1 Chrysler’s vehicles are NOT unreliable. Chrysler beat both Lincoln and BMW int he last reliability ratings – among others.

        #2 There are rich people buying 300′s and Chargers over $100,000 German cars. Nothing Downmarket about them.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          We both know those oft-quoted “reliability” figures are 90% bunk — this very blog has proven that. Personal feeling aside, though, we’re talking image, not spot quality, and image is a lagging indicator. I don’t think you can argue that, in the public’s mind, Chrysler’s near the bottom of the pack.

          (As a side note, if you want to convince me, set the bar a little higher. “BMW” isn’t exactly synonymous with “long-term reliability”, and I know you read the last Lincoln capsule review…)

          And “rich” != “upmarket”, which was my point. Lots of people wouldn’t even think of considering an Escalade, either.

        • 0 avatar

          Re: #2

          This is what’s called “projecting”. Now, wealthy people buying Grand Cherokees, I can believe that.

        • 0 avatar
          crm114

          If by “rich people” you mean recent lottery winners buying them to park next to the nicest doublewide in the trailer court, then you are correct.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      What they really need to focus on, and they are, is getting fresh and competitive mainstream cars to market. They have some good ones already, but need to get other key vehicles to market ASAP to get in the game to have a chance to be a leader. Once those vehicles have been established, then maybe some thought can be given to an AWD turbo Minivan that might sell 1000 units.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Meh…

      I prefer my 300C to the SRT-300. The C is plenty fast without the SRT displacement bump, and honestly I think mine (Gloss Black with Chrome internally lined taillights) looks better than the Black on Black with smoked lenses of the SRT. Style and image is subjective of course.

      Unfortunately image is just that, image. A Co-worker’s (now ex) husband/BMW fanboi once said, “I would love a Chrysler 300, but only black people buy them”. Which isn’t true (I’m a carmel yellow mixed…), but the point he made probably does represent what I think a lot of German auto purchasing imitators and posers think. Not specifically racist, but “BMW/Merc/Audi is success, anything else is failure”.

      The GC is immune from it, and i suspect the $50K plus Ram variants are immune. Nothing else in the Mopar line has ‘image’ like the 5/7/E/S/A6/A8. Even the Lexus LS struggles in that ‘market’.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    There are only two things I can’t stand….

    Seriously, welcome to the global economy. And if it works for Fiatsler, who’s next?

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      This news intrigues me — it reminds me of the Romans conquering Greece or the Mongols invading China — did Fiat absorb Chrysler or did Chrysler absorb Fiat? This news points towards the latter. Lulz Sergio would be a hilarious genghis khan

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I would very much think the former and is taking his “prize” back to another European country with the US based CNH in the bag as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Well, face it – Fiat is in Italy, an economic basket case with unruly unions in a “home” region that can only shrink, and a long history that has caused the Italian Government to seek assurances that Fiat Auto will remain headquartered there. The merger and Dutch incorporation neatly severs ties with the “old country” with a minimum of political turmoil, since other spin-offs of the old Fiat conglomerate will remain.

        It’ll be an American-based car company with the lion’s share of operations and profits, but will probably have to drop both the Fiat and Chrysler names from the company letterheads, keeping them as brands. Fiat Industrial will remain an Italian company, but the effect will be a spin-off of the auto groups into the new not-yet-named company. The Agnellis may or may not keep an interest in the auto company through the Exor holding company.

  • avatar
    redrum

    Fiat-Chrysler will be “registered” in the Netherlands? This is some kind of tax shelter move, right? I find many references to this story today (almost verbatim) but none of them seem to address this. Otherwise, if the Netherlands is so “similar” to the US, why not just be based in the US? (I am assuming the tax burden in Italy is higher).

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Wally Chrysler registered his company in Delaware. Wherever the corporate governance laws are loosest is favored, kind of like all those oil tankers registered in Liberia.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Maybe he thinks the political terrorists in the Netherlands are less violent than the political terrorists in the USA. Nobody wants to be terrorized like Toyota. He should consider Bermuda, Monaco, Singapore or Dubai. I really doubt the political terrorists in the EU will be any less terrorizing. He is probably just sending a MSM trial balloon to gauge reaction to Chrysler leaving the USA. Sergio is part of the political Establishment…Agnelli’s man.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    [Insert Austin Powers joke here]

  • avatar
    Sine00

    The Americas are full of mindless and violent apes and the PIIGS are full of useless parasites. The Netherlands makes perfect sense for HQ in the Anglo-American Empire because the Dutch are bright and productive. Perhaps Luxembourg as well.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think there would be a few factors to drive a company out of its homeland.

    Italy has never had a real stable government for starters. If you ran a multi-billion dollar a year business where would you take it in Europe?

    I would pick Germany, a Scandanavian country or even the Netherlands. It appears to be stable compared to the Mediterraneans countries at he moment.

    It is possible Italy will go bankrupt or taxes will hike to pay down debt or even both.

    I hope he succeeds at what ever he undertakes, without him Chrysler might be Chinese.

    The first thing Fiat/Chrysler has to do is resolve what model lineup they will have and stick to a plan. Being fluid is great, but you can be to fluid.

  • avatar

    America is probably the worst country in the Western worlds to start business or have headquarters in. Complicated tax code, unpredictable taxes, unpredictable Government driven by pure political agenda instead of common sense, laws that nobody is able to understand and even Congress does not read them before passing. Then companies have to pay pensions and health care. I wonder why Ford or GM do not move their headquarters out of country. Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavian countries are examples where Government is driven by common sense and actually works and is even effective. Best automotive engineers are in Germany too.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      EU is common sense and effective?

      • 0 avatar

        I did not talk about EU. It was about Northern Europe sans England. US is somewhere between Northern Europe (where it started initially) and Africa drifting slowly towards Africa. Today US is more like Spain or Italy than Germany or Sweden.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavian countries are examples where Government is driven by common sense and actually works and is even effective. Best automotive engineers are in Germany too.”

      I agree! A friend of mine who is a Dutch-American and who spends a lot of time traveling between the US and Holland, has told me that the Netherlands is a country of innovation and well-reasoned entrepreneurship.

      Italy OTOH, not so much. America? LOL! With the highest corporate taxation on the planet, isn’t there ample evidence that corporations would be better off in Mexico or even (gulp!) Canada?

      Holland is a well-managed country with a high standard of living, if you like living at a latitude of Alaska. A bit cold for me. Their new King and present Parliament are highly motivated to broaden the scope of global businesses that would find their business-climate and taxation attractive.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        “America? LOL! With the highest corporate taxation on the planet, isn’t there ample evidence that corporations would be better off in Mexico or even (gulp!) Canada?”
        Highest headline figure, yes. But after exceptions and deductions US companies are not paying the highest corporation tax in the industralised world.

        http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/01/news/economy/corporate-tax-rate/index.html

        Don`t just go by headline rates. I am all for removing exemptions and lowering rates.


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