By on May 6, 2016


Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne can see a beautiful future with partner Google, but there’s plenty of fish in the sea, you know.

Speaking in Windsor, Ontario, where Chrysler Pacifica minivan production recently kicked off, Marchionne called FCA’s Google fling the “first phase” of their relationship, but admits to wanting to keep his options open, Automotive News reports.

After desperately seeking a partner for ages, FCA just inked a deal with tech giant Google to jointly create and test a fleet of 100 Pacificas outfitted with autonomous driving technology.

After a successful first date, where do the two companies go from here? “We’ll see,” said Sergio.

Like a perpetual bachelor who dreams of settling down, only to feel suffocated by the restrictions of a commitment, Marchionne’s eyes remain open to the technology advantages offered by other suitors. Hitching the company’s wagon to a single provider isn’t a good bet for the future, he said.

“I’ve seen efforts by others to pre-empt what I consider to be a natural evolution of choices,” Marchionne said. “So making unequivocal bets with companies who are in that space today and effectively precluding the development with others is a very dangerous path, at least in our view.”

With nearly all automakers now pursuing autonomous driving technology (whether their customers demand it or not), established companies find themselves competing with high-tech startups for supremacy in the field of innovation. Getting ahead in the self-driving field means keeping an open mind and latching onto the newest technology, regardless of where it’s from.

Marchionne, like a first-year college student, says he’s wide open to trying new things and pushing the boundaries.

FCA is “exploring with people who are willing to explore with us, to allow us into their world, into what that outcome will look like,” he said.


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

17 Comments on “Open-Minded Sergio Willing to Stick With Tech Partner; Could Play the Field, Though...”

  • avatar

    Sergio still courting a suitor. Unfortunately the dowry isn’t large enough to attract a mate for the hairy toothless witch known as FCA. Jeep and Ram amount to a boob job on this hag.

  • avatar

    Step in the right direction Mr. Marchionne. Keep an eye on the Blockchain Revolution.

  • avatar

    What’s the big deal? He should keep his options open. The standards on that technology are a long way from being final. He’s hooked up with a player that has the most experience. He can jump any time he wants or he can stick with them. Google is doing the same thing.

    Another smart move Sergio.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I can’t imagine working for this company, with its CEO telling everyone how much trouble they’re in, eager to find its 3rd partner in 20 years.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is the best possible move by Sergio in a while, actually since FIAT bought Chrysler.

    So far FCA hasn’t had the lead with much, actually nothing.

    FIAT of the early nineties lead the world with diesel technology. Maybe, just maybe latching onto Google will pay off. This will come at a price in which I’d bet Google will benefit handsomely.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This could be the kiss of death for Google. A partnership with FCA is like getting a kiss and hug from the Godfather, best to keep your distance. FCA needs to become more viable for anyone to seriously consider a merger with them.

  • avatar

    “This could be the kiss of death for Google. ”

    You could be right, although Google is such a widely diversified entity that draws its revenue from many sources.

    Yet all that Google “income” may not be enough to stem the cash flow from that financial bottomless pit that is Fiatsler.

    Apple would be the more likely candidate for a successful link-up because of Apple’s cash reserves; possibly even an Apple take-over of Fiatsler.

    Wouldn’t that be something? Apple, owning its own car-making subsidiary.

    So, as the old saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Apple would be a better fit. Sergio needs to double down on the quality of FCA products. I don’t think the newer entries that Chrysler has such as the 200 or Dart are bad but they are competing in a crowded field where the competition is better and the quality of the products are a known quality. I agree with past comments that Chrysler should have not started the relaunch of the 200 by overproducing them and then competing with the competition on fleet sales. I rented the previous generation of the 200 with a 4 cylinder which was not a bad car but it was not spectacular. Chrysler needs to address the problems with their automatic transmission along with other issues and they need to improve their customer service.

    I do agree with Sergio that FCA should outsource the production of their compact and midsize cars, but I think it would be a mistake to just ax the 200 and Dart and start over. Why not lower the price and improve the quality of these products. Outsource the production of these cars to Mazda, Mitsubishi, or another manufacturer. As for a midsize truck FCA would be better to not use Fiat products and rebadge a Mitsubishi Triton or the Mazda truck. Fiats do not inspire most Americans and most truck buyers will not accept a rebadged Fiat truck. Sergio needs to refocus attention on Jeep and Ram.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree.

    • 0 avatar

      better be careful there, Apple’s software quality has never been great (especially with their online/cloud services) and has taken a nosedive lately in my experience. I had so many mess ups on my iPhone 6S I ditched the platform. From niggling glitches (unresponsive touchscreen after rotating to landscape) and serious data loss (70 GB of music just disappearing,) it makes me wonder if this is the same company which set the industry on its ear almost 10 years ago.

      • 0 avatar

        We own several Apple devices and I agree that Apple’s software quality and invasive account-requirements of the past have not curried any recommendations from me.

        But I will say that Apple continues to be a work-in-progress. This from someone who actually owned an Apple IIe.

        When making a buying choice these days, we alternate in our choices between Samsung and Apple devices. Whichever is the best at the time we buy, is what we go with.

        Right now our phone of choice is the Galaxy S5 and our tablets the iPadAir and iPadAir 2.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Currently have an I Phone 5 and it is ok but I am open to a Galaxy. I know a few people who have switched to the I Phone 6 from a Galaxy and they prefer the Galaxy. My concern when Chrysler was taken over by Fiat was they would re-badge Fiats as Chryslers. I like Italian cars but they are not the most reliable. I had a girl friend years ago that had a Lancia which was a great handling car and had plenty of power but it was always in the shop. My older brother had a Fiat sedan years ago and it was a nice handling car but again it required constant maintenance and it was a rust bucket. I am sure the newer Fiats are better but they are not as reliable as Japanese or South Korean vehicles. Most car buyers would rather have a boring and reliable vehicle including me.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: How about encouraging environmentally friendly landscape that needs little to no maintenance. Reduce demand...
  • Jeff S: With the chip shortage there might be a long long wait. Heard nothing more on the Maverick I ordered on July...
  • stuki: I bet a 1/4 mile catapult would be an awful lot more efficient…. Or, for that matter, a _very_ large...
  • stuki: Wonder if anyone has ever plotted life expectancy vs number of Honda engines owned…..
  • stuki: If Californians came equipped with intelligence, they would focus on reducing noise, and particulates, instead...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber