Blame It On Sergio: Fiat Flirting With PSA?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
blame it on sergio fiat flirting with psa

Sergio Marchionne always had been a proponent of the “the world only has room for six large global automakers” theory. Fiat and Chrysler isn’t necessarily a marriage between two robust partners. Especially in the Asian growth markets, both are weak. According to Italy’s Corriere Della Sera, Marchionne is rekindling a years-old flirt with France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen. Of course, none of the presumably dating companies will confirm the rumor. However, the rumor was started by Sergio Marchionne himself, in Detroit.

On Monday, Marchionne, adorned with sweater, knitted scarf and a hedgehog-like three-day beard, told Reuters that

he would be willing, in principle, to be part of a consolidation that would create another car company in Europe rivaling Volkswagen AG in size.

“If you take two of the European players and put them together, you’re going to get the right answer,” Marchionne said.”

Rivaling Volkswagen AG in size in Europe is a tall order. Last we looked, Volkswagen AG had 23 percent of the European market, followed by the PSA group holding 13 percent. And this is either how the rumor started, or it is a well-placed scent laid by Marchionne. The Fiat Group has 7 percent of the European market. If you add both together, you are approaching VW territory.

No other group would bring the right answer. Renault has its own alliance. GM will stay as far away as possible from Fiat. Ford – forget it. We are already in mathematically rough territory: An unlikely merger of Ford and Fiat for instance would only produce a total of 15 percent market share, not even getting close to VW. The only suitor immediately fitting Marchionne’s formula is PSA.

Rumors of PSA and Fiat playing footsie are nearly as old as TTAC. In 2008, they were reported to be engaged in heavy petting. In the following year, they were seen holding hands again. Then, Chrysler commanded Marchionne’s full attention. With Chrysler secured, there is room for new engagements. Globally, PSA would be a decent fit: The company has no presence in the U.S. It also has two joint ventures in China, both with heavy hitters: One with Changan, the other with Dongfeng.

Dongfeng would be a delicate situation: It is also a prized JV with Nissan. Carlos Ghosn doesn’t think too highly of Marchionne.

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Obruni Obruni on Jan 11, 2012

    would the French government allow this to happen? I doubt it. and the competition within the group in Europe would be unmanageable. slightly amusing: if this does go through, Mitsubishi and Chrysler would be sharing platforms and technology again. its like a time warp going back 15 years.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jan 11, 2012

    That three-day beard puts my two-week beard to shame!

  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.
  • Master Baiter "...but the driver must be ready to step in and take control. The system is authorized for use during the day but at speeds lower than 40 mph..."Translation: It's basically useless, and likely more stressful than piloting the car ones's self.
  • Alan My friend has a Toyota Kluger (made in 'murica). A Highlander. These things are based on a Camry platform. I have driven the Kluger we had at work and I find them quite boring even for a SUV. An appliance. I hope this will deliver some driving pleasure. I found the Camry a better boring vehicle.