The 2017 New York International Auto Show was full of new debuts, but it’s been responsible for a few hypothetical scenarios and rumors surrounding Fiat Chrysler Autos. The cash-strapped automaker’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has long been on the hunt for a merger to seal his legacy ahead of his rumored retirement next year.
But, Marchionne has since called off his search, stating he’s now concerned with leaving FCA debt free. In the process, he’s even said he’s open to selling off Jeep and Ram, the automaker’s money printers. Volkswagen and General Motors were brought up in the discussion, according to Fiat-Chrysler Authority.
Now, here’s the latest rumor. GM and FCA do merge, and Fiat Auto becomes the new GM Europe to replace what the automaker most recently sold off with its Opel and Vauxhall brands. In North America and abroad, Chrysler is diluted and Dodge becomes GM’s reborn Pontiac. Meanwhile, Ram is merged with GMC and Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati would remain standalone brands.
It’s likely a long-shot, and the rumors are fairly unsubstantiated, but they do find ground after Marchionne simply replied “Yes” when asked if he would sell Ram, Jeep or both to GM. If only a few brands were sold off, though, FCA wouldn’t have much to offer in an all-out merger.
It’s yet another wave crashing in the storm of Marchionne’s darting behavior. Previously, the Italian-Canadian executive said GM was less attractive as a merging partner after selling Opel and Vauxhall. GM has previously outright denied any intention to merge with FCA.