Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne says he won’t split the automaker up, spinning off and selling individual brands, as he continues trying to find a partner for a merger, USA Today reports. The rumor that FCA could be broken up originated last year, after some Chinese automakers expressed an interest in purchasing Jeep, which is perhaps Fiat Chrysler’s most valuable automotive brand.
“The answer is no we’re not going to break up anything,” Marchionne told reporters at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. “We have no intention of breaking it up and giving it to the Chinese.”
Sergio Marchionne has made consolidation in the auto industry a talking point for several years, and the CEO firmly believes that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ most prudent course of action would be to find a buyer. Spinning off a single brand could make FCA more purchasable and generate capital for investment into new products, but in the case of Jeep, which Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas last July said was more valuable than the parent company itself, it would leave FCA without a vital part of its business.
Fiat Chrysler’s CEO did note that the company has a good partner in China’s Guanzhou Automobile Group, which allows the company to manufacture in the country.
Fielding questions from reporters, Marchionne also said that it would likely be June when Fiat Chrysler named the CEO’s successor, and voiced his hope that the Trump administration changes some of its demands with regard to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.