By on March 2, 2016

Sergio Marchionne with text message conversation with Tim Cook, Image Source: FCA

It seems Sergio Marchionne may be switching teams when it comes to shacking up with another company to build cars of the future, reports Bloomberg.

At the Geneva International Motor Show, the self-confessed Apple geek said that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would be well-suited to contract build a car designed in California.

“I would assume that we have the credibility to be one of the players they have looked at,” Marchionne said in Geneva. “There are parts of us that would be interesting for them.”

It’s no secret that FCA is saddled with debt. Its future is highly dependent on making a deal with someone … anyone … no matter how much fat the Sweatered One can trim. The aroma of a cash-rich Apple probably has Marchionne’s nostrils aflutter. And in order to make a deal happen with Apple, Marchionne said he’d be willing to operate under any terms the technology giant sets forth.

“Apple has a language, and you have to be able to speak that language,” said Marchionne. “Usually the industry comes into that dialogue with a high degree of arrogance as we know how to make cars.”

In addition to debt, FCA is behind many competitors when it comes to advanced technology, especially electrification and semi-autonomous tech. It only has two brands — Jeep and Ram — that have bright futures. And its exposure to South America is becoming more and more of a pressing problem. Negotiating a deal with Apple could help alleviate many of FCA’s pressures.

On the other side of Silicon Valley, Google parent Alphabet is much more interested in licensing its autonomous technology to other automakers. And even if it did shack up with an OEM for a contract build, we’re guessing the autonomous Alphagetti would taste more like kimchi than a thin-crust pie.

[Image Source: FCA]

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23 Comments on “Marchionne to Apple: Pick Me! Pick Me!...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    “Sergio, Tim here,
    Ummm, yeah, so I got all 674 of your messages, so, yeah, I definitely know you’re interested. Thanks. We’ll let you know.
    Take care.”

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    PATETICO, Mamma mia!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well, the Chinese build Apple products and they do a good job – how bad could FCA screw it up?

    Who am I kidding.

    Bad. Really, really, BAD.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is getting embarrassing.

  • avatar
    redliner

    The new Maserati TC, by Chrysler, now available with Fiat DriveFree(TM) autonomous drive, powered by Apple iSteer self piloting technology.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Actually, this might actually work. If Apple partners with FCA, then the only places the car need go are back-and-forth between your house and the dealership for its continual repairs, software upgrades and warranty work.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Sergio,
    Please pull your pants up. Just put out a good sports sedan for a reasonable proe ($10K) and all is forgiven.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Re: “There are parts of us that would be interesting for them.”
    mixed with that picture? EWWwwwww.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I am a little excited by the prospect of Siri with an Italian accent… Maybe in a 4C?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Poor Sergio, no one wants to hug him back.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    Marchionne is f…ing hilarious. He’s a true sales guy. He always make it sounds like the company he’s courting needs to be merged with FCA to improve whereas in reality, it’s FCA that needs the company he’s courting. And don’t get started on how Chrysler is so strong either because it’s nothing without Jeep’s performance in the US. Why isn’t he courting Tesla, is it because Apple has the large cash reserve that FCA badly need? Why isn’t he openly merging with Peugeot, is it because they don’t have the money? What a joke of a CEO and what a joke of a company.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      hey Sergio is use to companies either giving themselves for a very markdown price ( i.e. Chrysler or toss million and millions of US dollars at him to go away ( GM) so this whole pay full retail thing is a little foreign to him. He is like a guy at the bar at 30 minutes before closing time, anyone want to go home w me, anyone???

      • 0 avatar

        Merican companies solidly proved their stupidity when it comes to making deals with Europeans. There are so many good examples like Ford acquiring British jewelry from the con artist to Chrysler to GM to HP to US Government. Apple is American company and Sergio rightfully makes an assumption that Apple is also ready to be ripped of. Who can blame him. I was surprised that GM declined to equally merge with FCA – are women smarter than men?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    FCA desperately need some more mergers. To be fair to FCA you’d think the likes of PSA and Mazda would be desperately looking for a bed fellow. Their reluctance to get my involved with FCA probably speaks volumes

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Mazda is already involved with FCA. In other news, Mazda is doing kinda okay on their own, and definitely don’t need the ruination of FCA.

      PSA is too proud, I think.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the problem with Mazda doing “kinda OK” is that they’re marketed on features the average driver doesn’t care about. Someone buying a Miata or RX-8 is looking for driving experience, but most people looking for a C/D segment car or CUV aren’t. Mazda does have the benefit of the Japanese government’s willingness to “help out” its industries in times of need; FCA won’t have that luxury. They’ve had their second chance already.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    They don’t screw up all the tech. The U-Connect is pretty decent compared to some of the others I have used.

  • avatar

    The Mazda MX5 – Fiat 124 combination should have opened Marchionne’s eyes. Mazda has grown to become the car maker with Italian flair among its Asian colleagues. Instead of having Alfa drivers wait that long for a successor to the 159 and the Giulietta, FCA already could have been selling Alfas on Mazda underpinnings.


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