Fiat Chrysler to focus on growth plan as GM merger hopes fade

Thu Dec 3, 2015 10:57am EST
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By Agnieszka Flak

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (FCHA.MI: Quote) does not plan a hostile bid for rival General Motors (GM.N: Quote) at the moment and will focus on executing its growth plan until the right partner is found, CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

Marchionne, who has called for consolidation in the industry to share the costs of developing more technologically advanced and cleaner cars, said finding a partner was "not a matter of life or death" for FCA.

"We are not choking. We are in relatively decent shape," Marchionne told journalists in Amsterdam on Thursday following a shareholder meeting that approved the demerger of sports car business Ferrari (RACE.N: Quote) from the group.

This year Marchionne sent an email to Mary Barra, his counterpart at GM, proposing a tie-up but was turned down.

"This is not an indiscriminate dating game. I'm not willing to go with anybody to get it done," he said.

"We have been publicly rebuffed, we have been rejected and you cannot force these things. I don't want to," he said. "At the moment, we have no intention to do anything hostile."

He added that other, less obvious merger candidates existed that could offer similar benefits for the world's seventh largest carmaker by sales.

Marchionne said FCA would first focus on a 48 billion euro ($52 billion), five-year investment plan centered on turning Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati into global brands. Once implemented, the dynamics of the discussion with a potential partner "will completely change," he added.   Continued...

Ferrari and Fiat logos and a Italian flag are pictured on a replica of a Ferrari Formula One car in Santiago city, Chile, October 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado