What kind of wacky cars would result from this?
It’s too bad there’s not a dating app for companies looking to merge because in case you haven’t heard, FCA has been looking for a potential mate to help it tackle its debt, poor quality ratings, and recent allegations that it cheats on the emissions of its diesel engines. One company that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne had his eye on was Volkswagen, but as we’ve previously mentioned, the German auto giant didn’t seem interested. According to Autocar, that may no longer be the case.
To the outsider, such a merger seems as if it would be a match made in heaven for a few reasons. One is that opposites attract and Volkswagen’s subsidiary Porsche has managed to sweep the isle and secure a top spot in quality rankings. Meanwhile, FCA sits at the bottom of J.D. Power and Consumer Reports’ ratings and could stand to learn a few lessons about build quality from Volkswagen. On the other hand, both companies are currently undergoing hardships as regulators investigate and punish dodgy ethics regarding the diesel emissions for, so at least FCA and VW can lament their issues to one another and experiment with various strategies to mitigate the damage.
Acquiring FCA would also help Volkswagen remain the largest car company in Europe, a prospect that has come under threat after the PSA Group’s takeover of Opel and Vauxhall from GM. Marchionne favors the merger, but previous reports indicated that Volkswagen CEO Mathis Mueller had bigger things to attend to (like pleading guilty to major environmental violations). Autocar says otherwise, instead claiming that Mueller has not given a firm no. “There has been no contact at this point between Mr. Marchionne and me, but I have never said I would exclude it,” said Mueller. “We haven’t dealt with it. Since I assumed the helm here in 2015 there have been different problems to FCA for me to focus on.”
Once Dieselgate blows over, and it may be a while before the fallout stops affecting the automaker, maybe Mueller will at least consider it. Our advice? Start with a nice dinner and a good bottle of wine, Marchionne.