Sergio Marchionne, Fiat-Chrysler Autos’ outspoken CEO on the need for merger and further consolidation within the automotive industry, has tried to sway General Motors into the possibility of an all-out merger on more than a few occasions.
Was he successful? Not at all. GM utterly dismissed the idea, even after Marchionne went straight to GM CEO Mary Barra herself. However, it seems Marchionne sees GM in a dimmer light following the automaker’s decision to sell off Opel and Vauxhall to France’s PSA Group.
The Italian-Canadian CEO told Motor Trend there is a “15-percent loss of synergies” after the sale, meaning, there are fewer architectures both automakers could utilize to capitalize on greater efficiency if, and that’s a huge if, the two were to merge into one automaker.
However, despite past attempts to discuss a merger, Marchionne still seems undeterred.
“I knocked but no one answered,” he said about his past attempts. “I never close any doors. I may shamelessly try and knock again … on the GM door or any door if I thought it was a good thing for the business. Absolutely, without even blinking.”
He did raise questions over General Motors’ reasoning to sell off Opel in general, though, stating the geopolitical factors GM listed as selling factors “shocked me out of my pants.” Marchionne also questioned GM’s ability to conduct business in other regions but why it failed to succeed and improve operations in Europe.
Marchionne has long been in search a partner to carry FCA into the future, ideally before he leaves his position in 2019, but, he said his bigger priority is eliminating debt. And, the FCA CEO said he will do that without selling off any FCA brands.