Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is open to alliances and merger talks but a sale of its luxury brand Maserati is not an option, Chief Executive Mike Manley stated in Geneva on Tuesday.
“We have a strong independent future, but if there is a partnership, a relationship or a merger which strengthens that future I will look at that,” Manley informed reporters at the Geneva motor show.
Asked if he would consider selling Maserati to Geely Automobile Holdings, as suggested by latest media reports, Manley stated: “Maserati is one of our really beautiful brands and it has an incredibly bright future… No.”
FCA is often referred as a possible merger candidate. Bloomberg stated this week that the Italian-American automaker was attractive to France’s PSA Group due to its exposure to the U.S. market and its well-known Jeep brand.
Manley, who took over after the death of Sergio Marchionne, stated he currently had no news on possible deals.
Manley also stated the automaker, which is lagging competitors in developing hybrid and electric vehicles, would take the least expensive approach to comply with increasingly more strict European emissions regulations.
“There are three options. You can sell enough electrified vehicles to balance your fleet. Two: You can be part of a pooling scheme. Three is to pay the fines,” he stated.
“I don’t see a scenario when (carmakers) continue to subsidize technologies … indefinitely.”
The automaker had stated in June 2018 that it would spend 9 billion euros ($10.19 billion) over the next five years to launch hybrid and electric cars throughout all regions to be fully compliant with emissions regulations.
Asked about a 5 billion-euro investment plan for Italy FCA declared in November but then put under review, Manley stated the plan had been confirmed as originally presented.
The plan was examined previously this year after Rome approved new taxes on buying larger gasoline and diesel cars.