Speaking at the Formula One Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told Reuters that a merger with General Motors was at the top of his list.
“That discussion remains a high priority for FCA,” Marchionne told Reuters. “We consider it to be the best possible strategic alternative for us and for them. General Motors does remain the ideal partner for us and we represent a not easily replaceable alternative for them.”
(Emphasis mine. But what are the other “strategic alternatives?”)
Marchionne stopped short of saying that he’d pursue a hostile takeover bid for GM, although he already said there were various forms of “hugs” that he’d have for the automaker to convince them.
“There are varying degrees of hugs. I can hug you nicely, I can hug you tightly, I can hug you like a bear, I can really hug you. Everything starts with physical contact. Then it can degrade, but it starts with physical contact,” he told Automotive News last month.
GM has said it has no interest in a “bail out” of FCA.
Marchionne was spotted in the garage at Ferrari during the race. Next month, Ferrari will spin off from FCA to help raise cash for the debt-saddled automaker. Marchionne said he believes that Ferrari could be worth $11 billion.