FCA CEO: Trump win may change North America production

Tommaso Ebhardt

Venice — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne says if Donald Trump is elected U.S. president, the way he manages the North American Free Trade Agreement may affect the carmaker’s production options in the region.

“It would change things, if there was a stronger protectionist view of U.S interests on American soil,” Marchionne told Bloomberg TV in Venice, Italy, at the annual workshop of the Council for the United States and Italy, which he chairs.

Fiat Chrysler, which was formed in 2014 by the combination of the Italian carmaker with its Detroit unit, makes more than 80 percent of its profits in North America. The company, which also has plants in Canada and Mexico, posted 1.23 billion euros ($1.39 billion) of adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in North America in the first quarter out of a total of 1.38 billion euros.

“If globalization efforts that have been carried out by multinationals gets clipped or curtailed, I think it would have implications about how we manage our business going forward,” said the Italian executive who grew up in Canada.

Trump has made a border wall with Mexico a cornerstone of his foreign policy, saying he would force his southern neighbors to pay for it by barring money transfers. He’s also pledged to renegotiate or terminate NAFTA, arguing that it’s been a disaster for the U.S.

Marchionne also said a decision by Britain to secede from the European Union would be “an enormous risk” for the region’s economy. The U.K. votes on the issue June 23.