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Marchionne Courted GM CEO Mary Barra for Possible Merger

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/27/2015 Karla Sanchez

Fiat ChryslerCEO Sergio Marchionne may be looking to combine forces with another automotive manufacturer, as The New York Times reports the executive is on the hunt after GM CEO Mary Barra turned down his proposal on a possible merger.

Research

According to a report that profiled Marchionne, Barra received an email in March from the exec, who expressed his concerns over how global carmakers are wasting money on developing similar technologies. Marchionne reportedly wanted to meet with Barra to discuss consolidating costs through a possible merger with GM, but Barra was quick to turn down the offer. That wasn’t enough to stop the exec from continuing to push the idea, as he talked about it again in a conference call with analysts, according to the report. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

“I think it is absolutely clear that the amount of capital waste that’s going on in this industry is something that certainly requires remedy,” he said. “A remedy in our view is through consolidation.”

After the initial profile on Marchionne was published by The New York Times, the CEO reportedly reached out to the publication again since he wanted to clear things up. The news outlet reports that during this discussion, Marchionne consistently declined to comment about his overture to GM or Barra’s unwillingness to meet with him about it. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

“Look, if I wanted to sell I would have called a banker,” he told the Times. “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.”

Even still, the report claims he emphasized how automakers waste billions in developing similar technologies, while he explained his suggestions in the conference call were for the good of the entire auto industry and not because Fiat Chrysler was struggling.

While Ford and GM aren’t interested in a big merger, Volkswagen is said to have had interest in the past in Fiat Chrysler. Google and Apple may also look to team up with big automakers for manufacturing or marketing their own cars, so if Marchionne really is looking for a merger, he’ll continue to keep his eyes peeled and his ears open for another opportunity like the Fiat Chrysler merger. That merger initially helped turn things around for the automaker, with FCA becoming solidly profitable as opposed to just a few years ago.

Source: The New York Times

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