By on July 2, 2018

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Last week’s report in the Asia Times, citing unnamed sources, laid the foundation of a rumor that Hyundai has its eyes on Fiat Chrysler as a potential takeover target. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s history of attempting courtships with other major automakers only served to bolster the idea. If General Motors and Volkswagen seemed so attractive, why not Hyundai?

Forget about it, claims a Hyundai spokesman.

The sources claimed Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chung Mong-koo is waiting for FCA’s share price to fall before making a takeover bid. Also swirling in this rumor was an activist shareholder who holds $1 billion in Hyundai stock (Paul Singer), a CEO on the verge of retirement (Marchionne), an FCA chairman with a newfound interest in ritzy media companies (John Elkann), and an automaker without a fleshed-out electric vehicle strategy (FCA).

Combine these factors with the fact that a free trade agreement exists between the U.S. and South Korea, and it all started seeming plausible. And it could still happen, as all things can happen, but Hyundai’s completely denying it.

Michael Stewart, senior group manager for corporate and marketing public relations at Hyundai, told CNET, “That rumor is totally groundless.”

FCA has embarked on a streamlining, profit-boosting campaign to rid the company of a hefty debt and return it to a cash-positive status by the end of this year, just months ahead of Marchionne’s retirement. It’s been said that one of the main reasons for firming up the automaker’s financial ground is to make it an attractive target for a merger. We’re left waiting to see if anyone asks Marchionne to the dance.

[Image: Hyundai]

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21 Comments on “Always a Bridesmaid? FCA Could Be Going It Alone After All...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Go it alone and get that Barracuda line up and running.

    • 0 avatar
      RIVER STREETmaserati123

      FCA needs to stop crying, and get the job done.I love FCA as it is,I have two of their cars now,and want to but at least ten more in a few months. I really prefer Hyundai than VW ,GM or any Chinese Company,but I hope they can do it alone.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Sergio is an incel.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hey, maybe Mercedes would be interested.

    Wait…

  • avatar
    TW5

    This could go either way. Marchionne could have detected a hostile takeover, and he knew falling stock price would precipitate so he had his PR people spread a rumor to bump the stock price OR Marchionne knew no one was interested and he wanted to bump the stock price for his own person gain with a fake story.

    I guess they only thing we know for sure is that Marchionne wanted the stock price to jump, and he got his way. The story broke before trading on the 29th, and FCA stock opened $.50 higher that morning.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Or it’s true, but wasn’t supposed to be leaked. Now denial is Hyundai’s best opportunity to get the stock price to drop.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        There’s an old saying, to become good at golf, take up the game at an earlier age. It’s the same with FCA. The time to buy was in mid-2016 when the price was $7 a share, and the whole company was worth barely $10 billion. Today it’s worth $25.2 billion, thanks to a cleaner balance sheet. A big problem is its factories are maxed out, and key factories in Canada and Mexico are now at risk.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Jeep and RAM are the cash generators of FCA. Everything else is byproduct from the revenue stream of Jeep and RAM.

    Sell em off

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Maserati and Alfa Romeo may have some value and be able to be sold. Anyone who might need Fiat already has a brand that does what Fiat does and Chrysler, Dodge and Lancia are home market brands that don’t have much of a future unfortunately.

  • avatar
    brn

    Confirm a takeover intent, prices go up.

    Deny a takeover intent, prices go down, then buy!

  • avatar

    I told everyone it was fake news.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    FIAT is global car company; not the great in the US of A, but worldwide never the less. The Agnelli family controls the financial company that controls FIAT. Sergio ain’t family; he’s a placeholder. Elkann is family, Giovanni Agnelli’s grandson. FCA’s fate depends on the extended Agnelli family; not, repeat not, what the interloper in the sweater says should happen.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    There have to be a few companies out there who desperately want RAM and Jeep, I could see RWD V8 cars surviving as an “SRT” division, and the Pacifica is on a great platform for anyone who thinks minivans still matter.

    However given CAFE requirements anyone who bought up many of FCA assets would have to have a pretty fuel efficient lineup of their own to offset the effect.

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