Fiat Chrysler CEO says tie-up with GM, Ford ‘feasible’

Tommaso Ebhardt
Bloomberg News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is open to a combination with General Motors Co. or Ford Motor Co., and said a deal with one of its larger U.S. counterparts would be “technically feasible.”

“We don’t have any restrictions,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said Thursday in an interview in Geneva. The condition for any deal is “saving the highest amount of capital” on developing new vehicles.

“There’s bantering that goes on all the time” he said, when asked about talks with GM and Ford. Still, there is “nothing substantive.”

Marchionne, the architect behind the merger that created Fiat Chrysler, has been a vocal proponent of consolidation in the auto industry. High costs for developing cleaner cars and adding self-driving features put pressure on traditional automakers, which also face the threat of new competition from the likes of Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

Marchionne sounded less enthusiastic about the potential of tying up with PSA Peugeot Citroen, doubting that the French manufacturer would solve London-based Fiat Chrysler’s problems. He also said he never had talks with Volkswagen AG executives about a combination.

Representatives of Ford and GM said they are focused on their own businesses.

“We have no other plan or interest other than continuing to accelerate our own One Ford plan,” said Susan Krusel, a spokeswoman for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker.

Said GM’s Tony Cervone: “We have our strategy and we are working on it. This is not worthy of a comment.”