Fiat Chrysler CEO sees only Toyota, VW, Ford as merger candidates
By Agnieszka Flak
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Toyota 7203.T, Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and Ford F.N are the only remaining potential merger candidates for Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI, since its attempt to join up with GM GM.N was rebuffed, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday.
Marchionne has long called for mergers of big players in the industry to help spread the costs of developing more technologically advanced cars that pollute less, but his preferred target GM has repeatedly refused to engage in talks.
"The door (on M&A) has never closed, the need to consolidate does not go away," he said on the sidelines of a shareholder meeting in Amsterdam.
However, Ford promptly said it also has no interest in a tie-up with FCA.
"As we consistently have said, Ford has no plan or interest other than to continue to accelerate our One Ford plan, deliver product excellence and drive innovation in every part of our business," the company said in an emailed statement.
Marchionne, whose term as chief executive at FCA is due to run out in 2018, said Korean carmakers were also among the big players in the industry and there would be sufficient synergies to justify a merger, but "the Koreans don't get married".
The major South Korean carmaker is Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS, which also owns nearly 34 percent of Kia Motors Corporation 000270.KS.
In the absence of a merger partner, Marchionne has been focusing his efforts on executing an ambitious investment plan centered on revamping its Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands and eliminating FCA's debt. Continued...