Despite a, “Thanks, but no thanks,” reply from GM, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is trying to gather more pull in getting a partnership going with either the big American automaker or another company.
According to a report Monday from The Wall Street Journal, sources close to Marchionne say he’s reaching out to activist investors, including hedge funds, to push Fiat-Chrysler into a marriage with crosstown rival GM or at least one other European automaker.
GM CEO Mary Barra, meanwhile, continues to rebuff Marchionne’s advancing merger talks. According to Reuters, she told reporters Tuesday that Marchionne’s proposal was throughly reviewed but the automaker plans to continue with its own future plan.
“We are merging with ourselves. We’re focused on our plan. We have scale. We have leveraged the appropriate opportunities.”
Marchionne has received the blessing of the Fiat family, namely John Elkann, to pretty much do whatever it takes to arrange another marriage with an automaker. FCA hasn’t achieved the scale yet Marchionne deems necessary and has been saying now that more industry consolidation is needed. Its margins are far below what other automakers have been able to achieve, too, and the company still relies a lot on the Jeep and Ram SUV and truck models for sales and profits in the U.S.
Other heads of automakers, including PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s Carlos Tavares, also seem intent on pursuing their own paths to sustainability. Marchionne may need to wait for further signs of downturn to make other companies more interested in his proposals.