Fiat Chrysler would be open to selling its profit making Jeep and Ram brands, CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed in a recent conference call with media and analysts.
When asked if the automaker would consider selling either Jeep and Ram as he looks to merge FCA with a larger automaker such as Volkswagen or General Motors, the executive simply replied “Yes,” before changing the topic, according to The Detroit Bureau.
The vague response left reporters puzzled. If Marchionne was serious about selling off Jeep and Ram, it would dramatically effect the automaker’s business. Jeep and Ram make up the bulk of FCA profits and trucks and SUVs are on pace to overtake passengers cars in sales. If it were without its two truck and SUV brands, FCA would only be left Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, which mainly sell passenger cars. Marchionne would have almost nothing left to merge with another company.
The Detroit Bureau reports Marchionne valued Jeep at around $22 billion in January and valued Ram at $11.2 billion. Selling the brands off would certainly be profitable and would set the company up well for an investor to move in and scale down the business as it sees fit. Marchionne is looking to retire at the end of 2018, so we’re expecting a major move to happen sometime before then.