By on December 3, 2015

Sergio Marchionne at the Italian Embassy in DC Circa February 2012

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won’t attempt to takeover General Motors anytime soon, FCA chief Sergio Marchionne told investors Thursday according to Reuters.

Speaking following a shareholder meeting, Marchionne said that finding a partner for FCA wasn’t “life or death” for the automaker group. Reportedly, FCA will delay launching several of their cars — including the Alfa Romeo Giulia for six months — as the automaker shores up its $52 billion investment plan.

“We are not choking. We are in relatively decent shape,” Marchionne said.

The automaker will present a revised product launch calendar next month, according to the report. That may include plans for Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S., including an SUV, and a more clear picture for languishing Maserati. The luxury brand’s return has stalled, in part, because of slowing sales in China.

One of the lone bright spots for FCA has been sales of Jeep-branded vehicles worldwide. Sales in the U.S. have steadily climbed for the SUV brand and have carried the rest of the automaker’s portfolio.

According to Reuters, adjusting Jeep’s sales targets for next year and increasing output could help buoy the brands as they prepare for a future without a significant merger with GM on the horizon.

“We have been publicly rebuffed, we have been rejected and you cannot force these things. I don’t want to,” Marchionne said, according to Reuters. “At the moment, we have no intention to do anything hostile.”

Of the Big Three, FCA’s finances seem to be the most tenuous. The automaker’s $8.5 billion net debt burden, weak Latin American sales and rapidly aging product platforms had the automaker publicly courting partners earlier this year.

Marchionne said that FCA could still partner with smaller automakers, but that spinning off any of its other brands was unlikely.

Analysts estimated that any sort of hostile takeover of GM could cost FCA $77 billion in stock.

Also: Marchionne continued with the creepy Mary Barra talk, noting via Reuters:

This year Marchionne sent an email to Mary Barra, his counterpart at GM, proposing a tie-up but was turned down.

“This is not an indiscriminate dating game. I’m not willing to go with anybody to get it done,” he said.

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40 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Not Planning Hostile Takeover of General Motors Because of Course They Can’t...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    There is always VAG in a few years…

  • avatar
    kkop

    I wish they’d let go of the whole Alfa revival thing; a potential money pit that could bring FCA down

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I understand why they want Alfa to be a player but like you said it’s risky. Jeep is selling well. Flesh out that line up and slowly introduce new Alfa volume models instead of niche sports cars.

      Or just sell Alfa to VAG. They could have it up and running in no time.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Or just sell Alfa to VAG.”

        Yup. That would be a wise move. As long as the emerging new Alfa will be more reliable, dependable and durable than the Alfa of the past.

        People bought Triumph in the past in spite of its rep. More would choose a new Alfa if they are better in the future.

        In Europe, premature rust was the gremlin that plagued Fiat and Alfa the most. With new metallurgy, rust-proofing and longer-lasting body panels should be a breeze. How about an all-aluminum Alfa body?

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      Is Alfa-Romeo even recognizable to most Americans? I don’t get how they expect to break into the premium sports/entry/mid-level luxury segment that’s already saturated.

      I’ve seen more MGBs, DeLoreans, R-body Mopars, etc in the wild than Alfa. Me? I’ve seen one. An early 1990s sedan back in college in the student parking lot. Seemed like every other week the owner had the hood up and was the last to leave for the day.

      If anything, Alfa-Romeo will have to start from zero. Best to invest in CJD.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        No, they aren’t. Everyone just faintly remembers someone they knew who had a Graduate in 1983, or a 164 in 1992. That’s about it.

        They’ve currently got slightly more brand recognition than Sterling, and less than Datsun.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          You’re talking North America. Alfa is alive, though not well, in Europe, and formerly well-regarded. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are what’s anticipated.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Of course Alfa-Romeo is recognizable to most Americans. Top Gear wouldn’t shut-up about them.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      I feel that he promised the old money Italians that if he was put in charge he would restore fiat/Alfa to their former glory… Probably said something like look I saw how the governments work over in Canada/US while I was studying university in southern Ontario across the river from Detroit. The government will pay us just to keep the community employed at our factory. We will just demand hundreds of millions to keep production there. Even better, I will get their government to give us a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep.

      The bailout money was contingent of Sergio being in charge.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        He has used his Fiat designs to underpin Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep products that very likely will tarnish what ever reputation for reliability Chrysler had left.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          There seem to be about three ways most Americans recognize Alfa:

          1. They don’t know what it is.

          2. They think they’re cool and like an Italian BMW.

          3. They think they’re unreliable shoddy pieces of trash.

  • avatar
    whynot

    “relatively decent shape”

    What a great, confidence inspiring, way to describe your financial state.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “We are not choking. We are in relatively decent shape.”

    Rover Group, 1988

  • avatar
    makuribu

    We’re financially fragile. Sub prime car financing is creating a bubble. I know, let’s take on a huge amount of debt and take over an even bigger dinosaur!

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    I find Macchione’s constant drumbeat about “the car industry has excess capacity and need to consolidate” message very interesting. In general, I do agree with it but I find his spin interesting. He always make it like it’s GM or Chrysler or other companies that need to merge with Fiat whereas in reality, it’s Fiat that needs to be merged into a stronger company.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Great observation. To me it just shows that Marchionne is pro-active in his management style.

      I interpret his drumbeat as leading the merger-movement with another automaker to prevent other, stronger automakers from acquiring Fiatsler and taking control away from Marchionne.

      To wit: the M&A of dead-Chrysler’s carcass (along with a $1.3B bribe from the US government) to create the now-stronger FCA (along with some creative corporate tax-inversion and change of incorporation tactics).

      Smooth move. My money is on Sergio. He’s The Man!

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        As long as he gets his golden parachute I doubt Marchionne cares all that much if he is running the company or not. He just doesn’t want to be known as the man who created FCA (the savior of Chrysler!) only to see it run straight into the ground due to poor management and decision making (re: everything FCA has done so far that doesn’t involve Ram or Jeep).

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I think the Hellcats were a good idea, even if I wouldn’t ever buy one.

          But I’m concerned about the fact that all of FCA’s plans revolve around larger V6 and V8-powered cars. What will they do once they are no longer able to sell a HEMI engine?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “What will they do once they are no longer able to sell a HEMI engine?”

            Cross that bridge when they come to it.

            In the distant past, Lee Iaccoca contracted with VW to make I-4s for K-Cars. They sold a ton of them.

            Seems to me that GM also contracted with Honda to make V6 engines for the Saturn line.

            I could be wrong because I never owned any of those, not even used.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            highdesertcat, Chrysler used Simca/PSA engines and Volkswagen engines in their early model Omni and Horizon subcompacts until the Chrysler 2.2 was ready. I don’t think any K-cars used VW engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            If I , the GM-Honda deal was an exchange of some portion of on-star tech for a small number of V-6s from Honda that only ever went in the Saturn Vue. I had an older V6 Vue and I wanted to trade it for one of the Honda powered ones, but Saturn drove me to the imports with lan estimate of 1000 dollars to do the thermostat on my 40k mile Vue. Apparently you had to pull the intake manifold to do it. Brilliant.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Thanks, Lorenzo. I stand corrected. I knew there was some connection, way back when.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          whynot, no one could have forecast that the 500-series would be such a flop in America.

          Add to that the price of gasoline and diesel fuel coming down to the level where they should have been all along, and the result is that more people can afford more truck or SUV/CUV for their money.

          The other Fiat-owned brands are for the well-heeled, moneyed elite on the planet. I could never afford one.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Sergio seems desperate for VAG.

  • avatar
    formula m

    In the photo above it looks like he is staring through the man, plotting how to acquire his wallet/soul.

    “Dating game” ??? WTF
    I can’t believe this sad man has been on very many dates with women that he wasn’t paying for the companionship in the first place. The sexual undertones the way he addresses her as his counterpart, etc… Is backhanded and disrespectful. It’s like he is implying to his buddies as if he has already banged her and could do it again if he feels like it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Well, the word “Braggadocchio” is English, but Spenser added the Italian ending for a reason.

    • 0 avatar
      and003

      @Formula M: He wasn’t referring to THAT kind of dating game. He was using that term in reference to automotive partnerships and business deals.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Exactly. I know that’s not what he was talking about but he somehow rounds out his comments regarding Bara with some dating, male/female, partner relationship type msg far too often. He would not use words like dating game describing a merger with a man name Toyoda. Too risky and seen as disrespectful. Can’t help himself when it comes to mentioning Bara or GM.

  • avatar
    and003

    Speaking for myself, it’s just as well that there is no merger of FCA with GM. I wasn’t all that enthusiastic for such a prospect, anyway, as it might have led to the demise of my favorite Mopars, including the Viper.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    “We are in relatively decent shape,” Marchionne said.”

    Relative to what?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Who the f*ck-all would want General Motors as a partner in anything?

    That’s just pathetic…

    • 0 avatar

      Buick is an American Brand. this they don’t care about but I do. keep your Commie, human rights abusing cars. let women know that they are only allowed so many kids by this autocratic government Barra is partnering with. want to build and sell there? go ahead, but keep those currency manipulating, polluting, slave wage paying partnerships off my shores

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      DW, China is where its at in the 21st Century. Kissinger and Nixon probably agreed to this course with Mao in 1972, I would very much not be surprised. GM has been there since the late 90s and has a best selling brand already in country. Dysfunctional as they may be, they are a target for partnership/alliance/buy-out for these assets alone.

  • avatar

    Red Ink Rick, Board of Bystanders, subservient and compliant Mark LaNaive and sidekick Bent Over, Mr Ebonics and his wasted Billions, all parading as followup to the practice round Delphi…a Bankster Rinse thru BK and eventual reclaiming by Goldman et al. what a racket! it’s expensive maintaining those Hampton HUDS. now the next chapter of Corruption & Ineptitude at The General, led by UnBarrable Mary, another inept soul seller.

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