FCA’s Sergio Marchionne Finally Stops His Search For A Merger Partner

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat-Chrysler’s CEO, is putting a stop to his search for a suitable partner for FCA. The group’s boss that the company is not in a position to seek hold merger talks with anyone and that it will focus instead on achieving their planned goals.

During an investors’ meeting in Amsterdam, he also said that there were no merger talks currently with Volkswagen, an idea that he toyed with last month.

“On the Volkswagen issue, on the question if there are ongoing discussions, the answer is no,” Marchionne said according to Reuters. “I have a lot of respect for Volkswagen and I think we are not in a position to discuss any alliance, the primary focus is (on) the execution of the plan,” he added.

Last month Marchionne said that VW may be interested in pursuing a merger with FCA, following the announcement of PSA buying Opel from GM. VW’s first reaction was to flat-out deny any possibility of this scenario, only to be followed by Mattias Mueller saying that VW is more open on the issue of tie-ups, inviting Marchionne to speak to him directly rather with the press.

Marchionne will step down from the seat of FCA’s CEO position after the approval of the company’s 2018 results. FCA Chairman John Elkann said that Marchionne would be replaced internally.


  • Six_Tymes

    For everyone who has ever bashed Marchionne for wanting a merger, in short YOU wish him and the company to fail. Because, in long or short term that’s what will happen if they don’t form a merger.

    FCA have already proven they can come out with compelling product, they just need to have higher reliability across the product line. To gain higher reliability they would need a good merger. Such a shame it doesn’t look like that will happen now.

    • EM1

      I was told that Fiat will be sold in Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram dealerships and that Alfa will have its own showrooms. I don’t know why there is no word of a 300 replacement and the future of Chrysler. My feeling is that Ram and Chrysler will be axed leaving us with Jeep, Fiat and Dodge. All trucks will once again be called Dodge.

      • Ilbirs

        Fiat being sold in Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-RAM dealerships sounds a bit like what happened here in Brazil when the Renegade was released and Jeep’s network was too tiny for a country as continent-sized as U.S.. What was done here is opening a lot of Jeep showrooms that were next to Fiat ones (the Italian brand has one of the biggest car networks in my country, with more than 600 dealers) with a target of ending 2015 with at least 200 ones, something that wasn’t achieved in that year, but played the role for the Renegade sometimes outselling the HR-V and paved the way for the second-gen Compass, that not only outsold Renegade but is about to be the leading SUV in my country.
        Maybe there will be more Fiat showrooms next to Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-RAM ones there to put out more 500 and 124 units, something that seems adequate for a non-premium brand, but not for something like an Alfa that comes back from the ashes, needing an own network separate from the rest of FCA divisions.

      • MP4-12C

        Looking at the Chrysler’s lineup you can notice that Pacifica is the only one worth considering. In my opinion FCA should focus on Dodge, Fiat and Alfa. They are struggling with resources as it is.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      The product is hardly compelling if you have to have the repair shop on speed dial.

      • Bo Hanan

        Good point. Sergio should focus on quality now that his “merger” distraction is over.

    • Ilbirs

      A merger isn’t needed to achieve this reliability. Japanese brands didn’t merge to reach the level in which they are. Here in Brazil Fiat models don’t have the “Fix It Again Tony” fame because the group not only worked close with independent repair shops and provided them with all the necessary literature about (the Reparador Fiat website, that also has all the part numbers and other kinds of help to the mechanic). An action in the factory level also was done and cars like Palio, Uno and Grand Siena are almost a sinonym of inexpensive models that aren’t headache sources. If you go to any Brazilian city, a lot of Fiats being used as taxis will be on the scenario and the brand is one of the preferred for this duty, considering how bulletproof must be a model to be spread in this kind of use. A Grand Siena here is almost like a Crown Victoria in New York.

      • Six_Tymes

        That is an interesting point, then are you implying that most people who spread the “Fix It Again Tony” are just lying spreading a old rumor from that past that may have been true back then but not now? Or are you saying that cars in the US are completely different from Brazil? my view is a lot of the “Fix It Again Tony” is spread by trolls and that FCA cars are not as bad as the trolls in the states make them out to be. But if your point is Brazilian FCA products are better, then how do they get those products elsewhere?

        • Ilbirs

          You must remember that the “Fix It Again Tony” fame came from the first Fiat’s incarnation in U.S. and this second coming of the Italian brand in the country was made by using a more focused lineup, consisting of three models named 500 and the 124 Spider and nothing more than these models, meaning the broader lineup is a task to be done by the American divisions of FCA.
          Fiat had a bad fame here until the 1990s but someone at Betim (located in the state of Minas Gerais, the main instalation of Brazilian headquarters and also biggest FCA plant in the world) noticed that the mechanics didn’t know how to procede with the models and then was made a huge action to make them know how to repair them. If someone knows how to properly repair a car with the help of the one who make it, better for the owner.

          Fiat lineup here in Brazil is completely different even from European one. There are some global models like the 500 and the Freemont, but the majority of it consists of regional products, being one of the last brands here in which the global models don’t play a significant role in overall sales. The models may be mostly regional, but some parts of them are global projects, like the Fire engines (a family that you know there in the Multiair and T-Jet specs) and transmissions. The majority of these models are too simple to be sold in U.S., something like what a Logan or Sandero are for Europe, but have this fame of being reliable to the point of being seen widely used as taxis or fleets in general (here a model isn’t stigmatized because if it’s widely used by fleets, rental or other uses than the final customer). Now FCA is building its new models here with higher quality levels (smaller panel gaps, high resistance steels etc.) even in its entry-level model, the Mobi, but still having a more regional lineup except for Jeep. Maybe the lineup will become global in the next decade, a bit like what happened to Nissan, that for a long time used to have some products for the Old World and others for the new, excepts a few global models. And maybe all this knowledge obtained in Brazil will be spread across the places where are located FCA operations.

      • MP4-12C

        Exactly, Fiats can be VERY reliable. Take the Bravo 2 for example, which from my experience is more reliable than Golf from similar era, no matter petrol or diesel versions. Fiats are cheap to buy and also very cheap to repair if something goes wrong. They are one of the last new cars to be relatively simple in terms of mechanics. The new Tipo is also a great value for money.

        • Ilbirs

          Here in Brazil the Bravo 2 has never been a success, in part because it arrived too late in the market, but we don’t hear any notice about major problems. Here this model uses the E.torQ engine in its 1.8 liter version and the T-Jet in its top trim. By what I know about the Bravo, it can be considered a well built car, as the gaps are tight, the doors are double sealed, the internal materials have good quality and so on. The real problem is that it arrived at a time when the Hyundai i30 was all the rage and after this the market saw the arrivals of the Mk3 Focus, the hatchback version of the Cruze and the Golf VII. We must also put some of the reasons for the obscurity of the Bravo in the small SUV craze that took the market by assault and made people here suddenly reject other segments, even the ones that used to be the fashion until recently, like the minivans.
          Shifting the focus from Brazil to Europe, we must also remember that for years the Panda ranks among the best in the subcompacts not only in sales volume but also in reliability. As you said about the Tipo, this car is going up in the ranks and now outsells the Golf in Italy and is coming closer to the 308 II and the Mégane IV in continental sales volume, which is a great thing considering how inconstant is Fiat’s presence in the C segment. If this model gains other engine options than the ones it has, maybe it’ll have the sales argument that is missing now to climb up some positions in the rankings.

          • MP4-12C

            Here in EU Bravo II was never a success due to the fact that it was available only in hatchback form. If it had a wagon version I for instance would seriously consider it. Every time I talk to owners of this car I hear only pleasant things about it and used car guides also often recommend it.
            Tipo is selling really well in EU, but if we would add Turkey to European sales, then I am sure it would be even closer to the top. Also consider the fact that in many markets (for example in Poland) hatchback and wagon versions have been barely available so far.

    • Nordschleife

      It really doesn’t matter if we want him to fail or not. What matters is that the people he tried to merge with wanted him to fail. Maybe if he wasn’t so verbose and a little more humble, his fellow CEO’s would have been more apt to merge with him. He failed FCA by putting out products where reliability was low on the totem pole and producing product that may have been compelling but not competitive.

    • Cobrajet

      FCA is already a merger of two companies, one more will sink the boat, especially if it was something as big as VW.

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      I has nothing to do with wanting them to fail. I wish the best for FCA, there are a lot of people depending on them. But when you don’t innovate, kill all models that save fuel and have no future technology besides a van that can take your picture and a factory drag racer that can’t be used on a drag race track….what the hell are we supposed to think? This guy has no clue what he’s driving. Now, that he has almost ruined several companies, he wants someone to merge with them to save their ass. Seems like a classic story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, or the American Social Class system of entitlements. Piss away everything with no repercussions because you know, someone will be there to just bail you out and fix it all. This guy is even worse because he’s getting paid BIG money to ruin these companies…He’ll be fine no matter what! But the people out there and the communities they support, building these non-innovated cars stand to lose it all.

  • Ilbirs

    Well, let’s see if the next FCA’s CEO isn’t as disruptive as Mergio was being these last times and for sure this successor is being prepared now for this position and is just waiting for the official announcement. What I wait for these next times is that more people from the Brazilian operations play more important roles in FCA worldwide considering how well conducted are Brazilian headquarters when compared to the average management of the group in U.S. and Europe and this is not by accident: Fiat is always on the fight for the leadership with GM, Jeep’s expansion worked like a charm and new models like Compass, Toro and Mobi were very well received, the same can be said about the new GSE modular engine family.
    Maybe a PSA-like management works well to FCA: instead of seeking a merger like there’s no tomorrow, working with what’s on hand can lead to a better result and maybe selling a small stake to GAIC, that is already a partner, can be a solution.

    • MarketAndChurch

      Yeah but its the group in the US that’s been bringing in the revenue that has kept FCA from filing for bankruptcy or shutting down entire companies or regional operations in less profitable parts of the world outright.

      • Ilbirs

        What I’m saying is that the way of management developed in Brazil, first when it was just Fiat and then when it became FCA, led the group to a very sustainable and consistent growth from the 1990s and on. When the Italian headquarters were facing huge trouble in the first part of the past decade, the Brazilian operations were sailing the calmest waters ever and here Fiat was the best-selling brand, something achieved in the 1990s by overthrowing VW from a top position held since the 1960s. Now Fiat is on second place, but FCA is the best-selling auto group considering the combined sales of Fiat and Jeep, outselling GM, represented here only by Chevrolet. In the decades that followed Fiat’s implementation in 1976 to now, the Brazilian operations faced way less problems than what we’ve seen with Fiat in Europe and Chrysler in U.S., and this considering the fact that Brazil faced in these 41 years a lot of problems as a nation (a hyperinflation that ended in 1994, an escalating violence to a point in which the murder rate is 60,000 people/year, the endemic corruption being replaced by the much worse systemic kind, two presidents facing impeachment, reflexes from the 1999 international crisis and the 2008 ones having their effects delayed but arriving in a much worse fashion etc.).
        The Brazilian headquarters achieved a situation of stability in this harsh environment described on the previous paragraph. Not only stablished the second biggest auto plant in the world (the one in Betim, in the state of Minas Gerais, is FCA’s biggest one in the globe, capable of making 1 million cars per year) but also opened a second plant in Goiana, in the state of Pernambuco, the one from which comes Renegade, Compass and Toro. These are consequences from a great infrastructure, having one of the most competent chassis tuning teams in the planet (the setup that every Dodge Journey utilizes after the restyling was developed by these guys) and also having a very close relationship with the mechanics that don’t work for its dealer network to a point that Fiat doesn’t have here the bad fame when it comes to maintenance like we see in other places. It must also be pointed that FCA Brazilian headquarters played a huge role in the second-gen Compass project and here this model is about to outsell the HR-V as the leading SUV, so well received it was. FCA also has the overall lead in the pick-up truck segment, with its Strada and Toro being sold in volumes that not only make them the leading trucks but also the leading light commercial vehicles and two of the top ten models, outselling even some passenger cars and SUVs.

        All this competence that is clearly carved by a way harsher environment than American or European ones isn’t being taken advantage in a worldwide level as it should be. FCA Brazilian executives should have more space on the main board considering the miracle they operated and how they would add a lot to the corporative culture of the group.

        • MarketAndChurch

          I can’t argue against that. Hopefully Sergio’s heir comes from this same Brazilian team, FCA really needs it.

  • Maderadura

    I will be glad to see him go. I think that he’s smothering to death everything that isn’t Jeep and It’s a shame. Its time for new blood.

  • Six Thousand Times

    After everybody said no.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Let’s hope they don’t shut down Chrysler and Dodge to achieve those goals.

    • Kash

      Nah, he’ll sell them off before he just shuts them down, after all the names alone are worth, what $10-20 mil each.

  • Tumbi Mtika


  • maserati123


  • Cobrajet

    Thank goodness.

  • John Smith

    They wouldn’t need a merger is ,Marchionne would stop using RAM/Jeep revenue to prop up the failing Italian brands. Look at how much they’ve invested to bring Fiat and now Alfa to the states. Fiat only has quirky cars and that charm wore off early after the 500 was introduced. There are already reports of bad reliability with Guilia. The only thing they offered the American brands were overweight and old platforms to create failed products. The Dart and 200 are perfect examples(although I had a 200 rental and actually like it). The money generated by RAM and Jeep if actually put back into the American side of the house would’ve certainly put them in a better position and not in threat of dying as a brand. Sergio is balancing plates on his head while juggling and I feeling those plates are about to come crashing down. If he kills Dodge or Chrysler before pulling the plug on Fiat in the states you know what his original intent was.

  • marko

    Chrysler needs “cool” cars, these cars are too weak today,
    300 first gen. has eyecathing design
    Cruiser should have replacement
    Dodge should look more muscle

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Have another cigarette and a cup of espresso Serg, and try running the company somewhere besides in the ground.