A merger is possible but selling Maserati is off the table.
Before Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sadly passed away at the age of 66, he was looking for a partner company to merge with. Ford, Volkswagen, and Chinese automaker Geely were all seen as strong potential candidates and Hyundai was even rumored to purchase FCA outright. None of these rumored partnerships bore fruit but according to Reuters, FCA CEO Mike Manley says the company is still looking for potential alliances or mergers.
"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 said in Geneva. Bloomberg recently tossed out the French PSA Group as a potential partner for FCA. PSA recently announced its return to the US with the Peugeot brand, so FCA's expertise could prove useful.
Bringing a brand back to the US is not an easy task - just ask Alfa Romeo - so a partnership could be an excellent opportunity for PSA to borrow FCA's strong presence in the American market with the Jeep and Ram brands. On the flip side, FCA could utilize PSA's excellent plug-in hybrid drivetrains to sell more fuel-efficient vehicles in the US.
Without any outside help, FCA may struggle to comply with strict European emission regulations. "There are three options," Manley said. "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. I don’t see a scenario when [carmakers] continue to subsidize technologies indefinitely.” We think a merger between FCA and PSA could be a match made in heaven.
It doesn't seem like a PSA-FCA merger is anywhere near to a done deal, though FCA seems determined to keep all of its core brands intact. Some industry experts have suggested that FCA should sell the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands to focus on more profitable brands like Ram and Jeep but FCA has stressed that neither are for sale. While addressing the media about whether or not FCA would consider selling Maserati, Manley said, "Maserati is one of our really beautiful brands and it has an incredibly bright future... No.” We know Maserati is set to reveal a slew of new models, including a new Alfieri sport car next year. Whether FCA finds a partner or not, we are excited to see what the Italian automaker has up its sleeve.