Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is open to the possibility of a partnership with another automaker to help Chrysler-Fiat’s ailing sales in Europe, with Suzuki and Mazda being cited by the CEO as viable options.
Speaking about the possibility of new partners, Marchionne said, “We’re not looking, but we are open [to offers],” at a discussion with reporters at the Geneva Motor Show,”We talk to everyone,” he added. The recent GM-Peugeot partnership in Europe leaves Fiat scrambling for viable European partners, and demonstrates that others are joining in on the idea of teaming up to turn a profit in financially unstable Europe. Marchionne is still hopeful that the Peugoet, GM alliance won’t prevent him from making deals with either company in the future, saying “All [auto makers] could join Fiat to help it in Europe.”
Marchionne went on to say that Suzuki and Mazda seem to be like minded companies to Fiat, and either would make a fine partner to help the brand expand into Asia. Fiat has already struck up deals with Tata Motors in India, and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. in China, but needs more distribution possibilities to help grow the brand.
Exporting European built vehicles is high on the list for Marchionne as a way to shave off some excess inventory, and a new joint venture with an Asian based company might help Fiat open up some new dealerships who could take these extra cars off the companies hands.
The only company Fiat-Chrysler CEO said would not be compatible as a business partner was Germany’s Volkswagen AG.
[Source: Market Watch]