Fiat Chrysler (FCA) chairman Sergio Marchionne has ruled out a merger with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, but said that the automaker is in open discussions with non-automotive companies.
In an industry event this week in Chicago, Marchionne told Reuters that the Italian-American automaker had no plans to combine with PSA Peugeot–Citroen. He conceded that the a merger would have certain advantages, although they were “too little” and “would limit the choices open to FCA going forward”.
Marchionne noted that FCA is “much weaker than others in China [and] that’s something we’re trying to ameliorate”.
Above: Sergio Marchionne
Both PSA and Fiat Chrysler are well established in Europe, and are major players in Latin America. Thanks to its partnership with Dongfeng, PSA Peugeot-Citroen is much better placed in China than FCA. That said, neither PSA or FCA has brands that regularly finish in the top 20 in China.
Last year Marchionne openly stated his desire for FCA to merge with General Motors. Despite his insistence that a “combined entity can make US$30 billion [$39.7 billion] a year in cash”, GM refused to enter discussions as it believed that it was better off alone.
Above: Google autonomous vehicle
When asked about his earlier comments that technology companies interested in developing autonomous vehicles should partner with established automakers, the outspoken CEO said that FCA was in “parallel conversations with many players who are outside the auto sector at the moment”.
Marchionne didn’t elaborate on who FCA was talking to and what these discussions are about. The Fiat Chrysler chairman did say: “We can’t go into these discussions with a precise idea of what FCA wants. We’re learning, just as they are learning. And the solution will be a shared solution and developed together with them, not developed by us alone.”