FCA Chairman: Make No Mistake - We're Still on the Prowl

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fca chairman make no mistake were still on the prowl

Thursday night’s falling apart of the proposed Fiat Chrysler-Renault merger was a setback for FCA, but the automaker wants everyone to know it remains on the hunt for a willing partner. Essentially, nothing’s changed from the days when former CEO Sergio Marchionne made eyes at the likes of General Motors and Volkswagen, only to receive the cold shoulder.

Sure, it didn’t work out with the French, Chairman John Elkann wrote to FCA employees, but that doesn’t mean FCA won’t soon find a date for the dance.

The letter, obtained by Reuters, sees Elkann claiming the company withdrew its proposal to Renault to protect FCA employees and stakeholders, adding it took the discussions “as far as they can reasonably go.”

“The decision to engage in these discussions with Groupe Renault‎ was the right one and one we took after much preparation on many fronts,” the Agnelli family scion wrote.

Neither side in the abortive merger has said much about what specific issue or issues caused the talks to fall apart, but FCA’s comment about “political conditions in France” lends credence to rumors of hefty guarantees demanded by the French government. Those included a French headquarters for the combined entity, assurances for French workers, and a special dividend for Renault shareholders. Allegedly, the French government also wanted a representative on the board.

Not deterred by the experience, FCA remains on the hunt for someone to share platforms and development costs with.

“FCA, under Mike Manley’s leadership, is an outstanding business … with a clear strategy for a strong, independent future,” Elkann wrote. “We will continue to be open to opportunities of all kinds that offer the possibility to enhance and accelerate the delivery of that strategy and the creation of value.”

One future possibility is a strengthened partnership with France’s PSA Group, which was the subject of numerous rumors earlier this year.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Den E Den E on Jun 10, 2019

    I've always felt the VW Group would be a perfect fit for FCA, and would provide VW with everything they are lacking, especially in the US - light/heavy duty trucks from RAM, rugged off-road vehicles from Jeep, and a minivan platform from Chrysler. The VW Group has been masterful at managing it large cache of brands, and would certainly have the capital leverage needed to breath new life in the Fiat, Alfa-Romeo, and Maserati product portfolios, as well. Make it happen!

    • Steve203 Steve203 on Jun 10, 2019

      VW is far too large outside of North America for a merger with FCA to clear what in the US is termed "anti-trust" scrutiny. In Europe, VAG holds a 23% market share. Nearest competitor is PSA with a 16% share. No way would VAG be allowed to add Fiat's 6+% share to that. In Brazil, FCA is in second place with a 17.47% share, VW is third with 12.96%. Combined, they would tower over the current market leader, GM, which has a 18.11% share.

  • Steve203 Steve203 on Jun 10, 2019

    And now, on Monday, the investment bankers are still planting stories advocating the divestment of Nissan as that is the only way the Renault/FCA merger could clear US anti-trust scrutiny, so the bankers can collect their multi-million dollar fees. "Exclusive: FCA-Renault revival may hinge on Nissan stake cut - sources" https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-fca-renault-revival-may-031400971.html While the French government, as a Renault stakeholder, supports the alliance as, long term, Renault realizes more synergies with Nissan. "France's Le Maire says 'essential' to bolster Renault-Nissan alliance" https://www.reuters.com/article/us-renault-m-a-fiat-chrysler-le-maire/frances-le-maire-says-essential-to-bolster-renault-nissan-alliance-idUSKCN1TA0AD So, who will win, the bankers looking to make a quick buck, or the French government, more concerned with the long term viability of Renault, and Renault worker's jobs?

  • Rng65694730 All auto makers seem to be having problems ! Still supply chain issues !
  • MrIcky I'd go 2500 before I went 1500 with a 6.2. I watched an engineer interview on the 2.7l. I appreciate that their focus on the 2.7 was to make it perform like a diesel and all of their choices including being a relatively large i4 instead of an i6 were all based around it feeling diesel like in it's torque delivery. It's all marketing at the end of the day, but I appreciated hearing the rationale. Personally I wouldnt want to tow much more than 7-8k lbs with a light truck anyway so it seems to fit the 1500 application.
  • MaintenanceCosts If I didn't have to listen to it, I'd take the 2.7 over the 5.3 based both on low-end torque and reliability record (although it's still early). But the 5.3 does sound a lot nicer.
  • Arthur Dailey The Torino Bird which was relatively short lived (3 years), 'feasted' on the prestige originally associated with the T-Bird name. The Cordoba originally did the same as it had a Chrysler nameplate. The Torino 'Bird had modified 'opera' style middle windows, a large hood with a big chrome grill and hood ornament, pop-up headlights, and a 'plush' interior. It was for the time considered a 'good looking' car and could be ordered with a 400 cid engine (the first 2 years) and even a T-bar roof. You can see one just behind De Niro and Liotta in Goodfellas when they are standing in the diner's parking lot and have learned that Pesci has been 'whacked'.Although a basically a renaming/redesign of the (Gran Torino) Elite, the Elite was for a time available with Ford's 460 cid engine.I had both an Elite and a 'Torino Bird'. Although their wheelbases were the same, the 'Bird always seemed 'bigger' both inside and out. The Elite seemed 'faster' but it had the 460 opposed to the 400 in the 'Bird. But those are just subjective judgements/memories on my part. However the 'box Bird' which followed it was a dud. It sold Ok the first year based on the T-Bird name, (probably mostly leases) but it quickly lost any appeal/prestige. Back then, the management/executives of the Toronto Maple Leafs used to get leased T-Birds every year. After the first year of the 'box Bird' they changed to different vehicles.
  • Parkave231 Random question that -- in the interest of full disclosure -- I am too lazy to look up on my own.Back in the day, cars in my mostly-GM family had a hard lock on the steering wheel, such that unless the key was turned to the ACC position, the steering wheel was physically locked in place.I don't recall whether my 2002 Deville locked the wheel in place, but I want to say it didn't, even though it still had a physical key.And now, of course, most everything is push-button, and my current Cadillac doesn't physically lock the wheel.So was the movement away from a literal physical lock of the steering wheel back in the 80s driven solely by the transition to push-button start, or was there some other safety regulation that got rid of them, or just something else that a car manufacturer could omit for cost savings by running something else through software (I'm guessing this since the H/K issue is a thing).