Fiat Chrysler may look for more self-driving supplier partners, says Marchionne

CEO Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) might look for more supplier partners to assist it establish and develop self-driving vehicles, CEO Sergio Marchionne stated.

The Jeep and Ram brands are strong enough to remain as standalone entities outside FCA, Marchionne likewise stated on a conference call with experts after the company reported record first-quarter outcomes. But he did not elaborate on whether there were any preparation for a spin-off of either, like with Ferrari.

The automaker reported an 11 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit, improved by strong sales in North America, its most rewarding market. Shares jumped around 10 percent on the news.

FCA presently has a collaboration with Alphabet’s Waymo. Marchionne said Waymo has an “unbeatable solution” to help develop self-driving vehicles, consisting of versions of the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan, however that FCA is looking at additional partners.

“Between now and the next 3 years, we have to offer viable services to take individuals around,” Marchionne stated, citing Waymo’s brand-new test program in Phoenix providing ride sharing in self-driving Pacificas.

However FCA is thinking about more partners “because banking all our solutions on one possible result is going to be devastating,” Marchionne stated. FCA continues to deal with Waymo “in a really intense way,” he said, but “we have to take a look at optionality in more than one dimension” to develop self-driving cars.

FCA is retooling numerous U.S. plants to produce revamped versions of the popular Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 pickup later on this year and early next. Marchionne stated the company would continue to produce numerous versions of the present models for a number of months in 2018 after the brand-new versions start production.

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