Speaking at the J.D. Power and Associates International Automotive Roundtable, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today told reporters that the two companies could merge into a single entity based in the U.S. in the near future. Until then, Chrysler first has to refinance its government loans and launch an initial public stock offering, but Marchionne hopes that both will happen this year.
“Who knows? In the next two or three years, we could be looking at one entity. It could be based here”, said Marchionne. The companies are considering various “alternatives and scenarios. First we need to integrate them operationally and then look at governance”, he added.
Ever since the Fiat Group acquired a stake in Chrysler, in June 2009, the Italian company's main goal was to revamp the American brand’s portfolio. Models like the recently introduced 2011 Chrysler 200, 2011 Chrysler 300 and 2011 Chrysler Town & Country are just the tip of the iceberg, as the automaker wants to launch a total of sixteen all-new or revised models in 2011.
The automakers are also working on sharing an increasing number of platforms and technologies, which will help them to further expand their lineups. For example, early 2012 will mark the debut of a new Dodge compact sedan, built using Fiat underpinnings, with other models expected to follow afterwards.
Fiat currently owns 25 percent of Chrysler, a stake that could rise to 35% if a series of performance-related targets are achieved.
By Csaba Daradics