Fiat Chrysler CEO: Forget About All That GM Merger Talk

A month after Fiat Chrysler said it would drop its hostile bid to merge with General Motors, the carmaker’s chief executive says he’s officially shelved talks of consolidating with any other manufacturer for the rest of his tenure at the company.  

Sergio Marchionne announced on Monday that FCA had “abandoned” efforts to consolidate the auto industry after just about everyone said “no, thanks,” The Detroit News reports.

“We’ve had expressions of interest from more than one party over the fact that they were interested in pursuing the discussions,” he said during a panel at the opening of the 2016 Detroit auto show. “We had to make a choice as to whether they offered us enough of an upside to engage.”

That apparently didn’t happen, as Marchionne noted that FCA wasn’t going to enter into anything “as long as there are better alternatives out there than the ones we were being offered… that we should not be considering what I consider to be sub-optimal choices for the industry going forward.”

So basically, it seems as if FCA doesn’t want to get into bed with just anyone. They really wanted General Motors.

While Marchionne says he’s ditching merger thoughts for now, he still believes consolidation is inevitable in the auto industry. However, any future plans will have to be handled by his successor, as Marchionne says he’ll only lead the company until the end of its five-year plan, ending in 2018.

For now, instead of pursuing “sub-optimal choices” the carmaker will focus on its plan, which began in 2014.

“The achievement of the plan in ’18 will create a car company that is fundamentally different than the one we are looking at today, and it will put it in position to have a different type of dialogue with people who may have been otherwise not interested,” he said. “It will give us the credibility, I think, which is highly important, in being able to reopen the discussions.”

Marchionne abandons FCA consolidation efforts [The Detroit News]