We're Not Offloading Any Brands to China: Fiat Chrysler CEO

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
were not offloading any brands to china fiat chrysler ceo

Last year, following several fruitless attempts to find a merger partner, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles found itself on the business end of a pretty shocking rumor. Apparently, several Chinese automakers were lining up for a chance to buy FCA. Not so, said those automakers, though Great Wall Motors mentioned it totally wouldn’t miss a chance to steal the Jeep brand away from its parent.

While the thought of such an acquisition no doubt inspired nightmares among Jeep fans (and FCA accountants), it was not to be. Not only is the automaker determined to keep a firm hold on its most valuable brand, it’s not planning on offloading any division, CEO Sergio Marchionne now claims.

“We’re not going to break up anything,” Marchionne said Monday at the North American International Auto Show. “We have no intention of breaking it up and giving anything to the Chinese.”

FCA expects the Jeep brand to serve as a major profit driver in the coming years. A flurry of investment on behalf of FCA has seen Jeep spawn globally focused models ready to tackle new markets, as well as gain new production locales in order to feed that demand. In his speech, Marchionne claims Jeep could help FCA double its net profits. (Unspoken: it would also help FCA eliminate its debts.)

Like the other Detroit Three automakers, FCA’s also counting on Chinese sales to help offset a declining U.S. new car market. However, its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, isn’t something to worry about, Marchionne said. FCA forged a partnership with GAC Motor in 2010 in order to sell its vehicles in China, and lately the Chinese automaker is expressing interest in selling its own vehicles in the U.S. (A full display greeted journos at the Detroit show this year.)

While the two automakers clearly get along well, “none of these things are designed to impact on the independence of FCA,” Marchionne said.

A report last summer claimed Marchionne was weighing the spinoff of the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands in order to make the expansive company more attractive to would-be suitors. Nothing came of the rumor, though one FCA division — parts maker Magneti Marelli — will leave the flock. Marchionne wants the division spun-off by the end of the year.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.