Fiat Chrysler Automobiles withdrew their merger proposal with Renault last week, but it appears the company originally had eyes on Ford.
In an interview with Automotive News, Ford’s Executive Chairman revealed the two companies looked into the possibility of a merger. As Bill Ford explained, he and the late Sergio Marchionne “had a number of dinners together talking about … whether Ford and FCA would be a good fit.”
The Blue Oval decided against the move as Ford said “We had our own issues and challenges ahead of us. I felt like it [the merger] wasn’t going to help us solve those problems.” He added, if anything, the merger would have “slowed us down.”
While Ford ultimately decided against a merger with FCA, the company isn’t opposed to partnerships. In the last year alone, they’ve struck deals with Volkswagen, Mahindra and Rivian.
Ford says he expects this trend to continue as “There will be winners and losers in our business like you’ve never seen before.” He went on to say “I think you will see companies looking for scale, because some technologies need to scale to be effective.”
That certainly appears to be the case as partnerships are becoming increasingly common in the industry. In particular, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover have joined forces to develop next-generation electric drive units. Likewise, GM and Honda have teamed up to build a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise Automation. Even Hyundai and Audi are working together on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Given the importance and cost of electrification and autonomous driving technology, it seems like automakers are looking to team up more than ever before.