Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne really wants his company to merge with fellow automaker General Motors. GM CEO Mary Barra dismissed Marchionne’s idea of bringing the two companies together back in 2015, but the Italian-Canadian executive thinks president elect Donald Trump would support him in the idea.
Speaking at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Marchionne said Trump’s pro-business ethos would probably mean that he would support an FCA-GM tie-up. He later added that he has not had any direct contact with the Trump administration.
Marchionne has several good reasons to merge with a rival automaker – not all of them related to his personal interests. He argues that automakers are currently wasting 2 billion euros a week in capital that could be saved if they were to come together. According to the American Automotive Policy Center, automakers spend more on capital investment than pharmaceutical, biotechnology, tech hardware and telecommunications companies.
Marchionne merging FCA with another company would also help the indebted automaker financially. In addition, FCA’s crossover and truck-intensive lineup is susceptible to criticism in regards to emissions levels and fuel economy. Merging with a company like GM, which produces cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV, could solve FCA’s average fuel economy problem without it having to make expensive investments in new product.
GM’s position on the merger hasn’t changed since Barra declined to meet with Marchionne in 2015. Speaking to Bloomberg, GM spokesman Tony Cervone said the automaker takes the “same position now that we did back then,” in regards to the matter.