Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne described Donald Trump’s incoming presidency as a “big deal,” on Bloomberg Television this week, saying his stance on free trade could shake-up the automotive industry in North America.
FCA currently has 17% percent of its plants in Mexico and recently added a new Mexican-built product to Jeep’s U.S. lineup, the 2017 Jeep Compass. The Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, two other recent additions to its U.S. portfolio, are built in Italy.
Marchionne told Bloomberg Trump’s election is “certainly is a game changer, mainly because I think that there are a number of conditions in the U.S. which are not yet spelled out.”
The president elect had previously talked of imposing a 35 percent tariff on goods made by companies that moved production from the U.S. to countries such as Mexico or China. He singled out Ford Motor Company for moving production to Mexico, however both FCA and General Motors have made significant investments in Mexican production sites as well.
According to The Detroit News, FCA shares have climbed 14 percent since November 8th, with a significant spike occurring after he appointed climate skeptic Myron Bell to lead his Environmental Protection Agency transition team. FCA has been one of the last automakers to invest heavily in electric and hybrid technologies, with Marchionne expressing doubt in the profitability and consumer interest for such vehicles.