Sergio Marchionne will announce FCA’s strategy to 2022 this Friday and the company’s investors expect him to outline new plans for electrified and electric vehicles as his final contribution.
Marchionne has managed to turn around the company and multiply its value over the course of 14 years but failed to secure a tie-up he said was necessary in order to manage the costs of developing cleaner vehicles.
“FCA is way behind rivals in terms of hybrid and electric vehicles and they need to hit the accelerator to convince investors they can close that gap,” said fund manager Andrea Pastorelli to Reuters.
The 65-year-old CEO had long refused to enter the electrification race, saying that FCA would only do so if battery-electric vehicles become profitable. Tesla’s success however and the requirement to comply with tougher emissions rules will force Marchionne to invest in electrification.
Rivals such as VW, Daimler, BMW, GM and Ford have already committed to spending billions of dollars each in the coming years for electrified cars. FCA needs to present a clear roadmap, just like Volvo which will gradually stop offering diesel engines and pledged to shift to electrification by 2019. “The tech divide determines winners and losers in the industry”, said a banking source close to FCA.
Recent reports suggest that Marchionne will shuffle production in Europe, sending output of mass-market Fiats from Italy to lower-cost locations and revamping Italian factories to build Alfa Romeos, Jeeps and Maseratis.
Maserati is also expected to spearhead FCA’s electrification strategy by offering all new models due from 2019 with electrified powertrains.
Stay tuned for FCA’s strategy announcement this Friday, June 1.