What a year it has been for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, the thirstiest man in the business. He’s seen Ferrari get spun off, record high sales figures, record high recall costs, and even a new contract with the United Auto Workers. But one thing has eluded him: his desired merger with General Motors.
It seems that goal will go unfulfilled, as Reuters reports Marchionne and Fiat Chrysler will give up plans for a merger or even a hostile takeover of GM in order to focus on their own company:
“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) from the group.
[...] “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.”
To recap: Marchionne sent a letter to GM CEO Mary Barra way back in March suggesting a merger of their two companies, arguing that this company could eliminate billions in overlapping costs.
Needless to say, Barra and her board were not interested, mainly because GM is doing quite well at the moment and doesn’t share some of Fiat Chrysler’s more shaky long-term prospects—debt, a lack of competitive small and efficient cars, and a lack of cash to execute some very ambitious product plans. But Marchionne pressed on, and there was talk of riling up shareholders to force a hostile takeover.
That did not happen. And it seems that for now, at least, Marchionne is giving up. And he wants everyone to know he’s not just swiping right on every random car company that comes along:
“This is not an indiscriminate dating game. I’m not willing to go with anybody to get it done,” he said.
He’s trying to sound proud, but there is pain behind those words. We feel for you, Sergio. We really do.
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