Sergio MarchionneEnlarge Photo
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has come out and denied that any of the automaker's brands could be up for sale.
His comments were made on Monday at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and finally put an end to the speculation that one or more FCA brands could be sold to a Chinese automaker. The speculation surfaced last August after China's Great Wall Motor revealed it was interested in acquiring Jeep.
“The answer is no we’re not going to break up anything,” Marchionne told media in Detroit, including USA Today. “We have no intention of breaking it up and giving it to the Chinese.”
Marchionne however didn't deny merger talks with any automakers, something that could still happen. In Detroit, he mentioned that FCA has a good partner in Chinese automaker GAC Motor. The two have a manufacturing joint venture in China, and GAC has also confirmed it will enter the United States in 2019 with its own brand of cars.
Marchionne is a great fan of mergers. He's tried to form one with virtually every major western automaker. He even went as far as directly emailing General Motors CEO Mary Barra in 2015. So far he’s been rejected on each occasion.
He sees a merger as beneficial because of the similar technologies being separately developed—at great cost—by all the automakers, which he outlined in a presentation in 2015 titled "Confessions of a Capital Junkie." Based on what Marchionne presented, a merger would benefit FCA and its shareholders, though it would also mean less distinct vehicles in the long run as parts sharing would happen across more brands.