FCA’s Marchionne cancels Frankfurt auto show appearance

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Sergio Marchionne has canceled his Tuesday appearance at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, to focus on contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the company said Monday.

The union’s contract with Detroit’s three automakers expires at midnight Monday. Sunday afternoon, the UAW chose FCA as the lead company it will negotiate with to set the pattern for contracts with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.

Bargaining teams for the UAW and all three automakers are expected to continue working through Monday to reach a tentative deal before the contracts expire. If tentative agreements are not reached by the deadline, current contracts typically are extended with little to no controversy.

A formal extension had not been made with any automaker as of Monday morning, according to the union, but Ford said in a statement Sunday it will “continue to operate under the 2011 UAW-Ford contract until further notice.”

As of Monday afternoon, GM CEO Mary Barra was in Frankfurt and scheduled to meet with journalists Monday night. President Dan Ammann and Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, were also scheduled to attend the show. Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, is scheduled to be Ford’s top-ranking executive at the show.

Analysts from the Buckingham Research Group on Monday said the selection of FCA as a target could have a incremental negative impact on both Ford and GM stock as both companies are now “in less control of potential outcomes.”

“We believe there is an increased likelihood of a punitive strike and a contract extension, and we would expect shares of GM and Ford to come under pressure following the UAW's target selection,” the analysts said in a report.

MMartinez@detroitnews.com

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