Sergio Marchionne: FCA Merger is “Unrealistic” at This Point
Not long after expressing interest in merging with a major automaker, Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has changed his tune about the idea of consolidation. The outspoken executive is putting a merger on hold to focus on eliminating the company’s debt, according to a report from Bloomberg.
“We need to be very careful that we don’t start unrealistic dreams about consolidation as we are on our way to achieve historically important results and a debt-free position,” Marchionne told investors in Amsterdam at an annual company meeting. “We are not at a point of time to discuss any alliance.”
Marchionne hopes to eradicate the company’s debt before he retires in 2019. Becoming debt-free should make the company more attractive to potential partners in the future.
Marchionne has long advocated for automakers to work together so that they don’t waste money developing similar technologies. A few years ago, Marchionne pitched GM CEO Marry Barra about a possible merger. Just last month, Marchionne said he expected to be approached by VW to talk about a potential link-up. However, he made it clear he is not in discussions with the German automaker.
Fiat Chrysler recently became the first major automaker to form an autonomous car partnership with Google, providing 100 Pacifica minivans that can accommodate the tech giant’s suite of sensors, cameras, radar, laser, lidar, and computers. Now, Marchionne says the company may announce another tech-related partnership later this year.