Fiat Chrysler CEO says there are no plans to sell brands to Chinese

CEO Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has no intention of separating the company or selling individual brands China or others, the company’s CEO stated on Monday, including that the group was depending on its desired Jeep brand to drive future revenues.

“We’re not going to separate anything,” CEO Sergio Marchionne stated at a news conference at the Detroit auto show. “We have no intention of breaking it up and providing anything to the Chinese.”

Marchionne stated the Jeep sport utility vehicle brand could help FCA double its net profit. FCA’s portfolio also consists high-end Maseratis, sporty Alfa Romeos and tiny Fiats.

FCA’s share cost has jumped over 30 percent this year on a bullish outlook for the auto sector, Jeep growth expectations and speculation that Marchionne’s last year at the helm might prompt tactical deals such as spin-offs, innovation alliances and disposals.

The appeal of the Jeep brands, which is targeting sales of 2 million vehicles this year, has prompted talk it could be spun off from the group, as occurred with tractor maker CNH Industrial and supercar group Ferrari, or sold off.

Reports have resurfaced that Guangzhou Automobile Group Co might be thinking about grabbing part of FCA. Marchionne stated on Monday that while GAC has partnered to provide Jeeps to the Chinese market and FCA is talking to the Chinese automaker about assisting it enter the U.S. market “none of these things are developed to impact on the independence of FCA.”

FCA has frequently been the topic of merger speculation, specifically after its not successful 2015 attempt to tie up with larger U.S. rival General Motors. Its share price jumped to record highs in August after reports of interest from China’s Great Wall Motor and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor.

Marchionne stated while both Jeep and truck brand Ram are strong enough to live on their own, “we need to talk about … exactly what will be left.”

Marchionne stated he has suggested the company’s board that the automaker spin off Magneti Marelli, a maker of components for lighting, engines, electronics, suspension and exhausts, to shareholders by the end of this year.

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