Could FCA Partner With Apple or Google?

May 26, 2015 0 Comments

We reported previously that Sergio Marchione, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has indicated he would like to get a large deal done before his departure from the automaker in 2017. The type of deal he’s looking for is ambiguous, however, what we know know is who is not interested in a merger or deal with FCA and that’s General Motors.

In a New York Times article, the interaction between Mary Barra, the CEO of GM and Sergio Marchionne is described in the few details available to the press. It was reported that Marchionne wrote a long email Barra asking to meet and talk more about what GM and FCA could accomplish together. The email detailed how the two large domestic automakers could consolidate, save billions and “create an automotive superpower.”

However, Marchionne’s pitch fell flat with GM, which reportedly turned down the invite to discuss the deal any further.

What matters to dealers is not that FCA’s chief is sending emails, rather it’s what this quest for a deal could mean. What it won’t mean is a sale of the company. In the same NYT piece mentioned earlier, Marchionne sharply denied any talk of him selling FCA before his departure. Speaking about the potential sale of FCA to the NYT Marchionne said, “Look, if I wanted to sell I would have called a banker. I wouldn’t have done an analysis on return on invested capital and margins that talk about the fact that we’re all in the same hole.” That hole the FCA chief thinks that automakers are in is not shared by two other companies that he recently visited: Google and Apple.

Both Google and Apple are rumors to be either developing their own electric car or working with automakers to make a self-driving car. Marchionne seems to have the deal-making spirit that could make FCA in the driver’s seat to work with one of those organizations on some sort of automotive project in the future. Could the automotive infrastructure of FCA combined with the capital of Apple or Google become the next big thing in automotive?

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