Analysts speculated that the split between Fiat’s automotive and industrial operations could allow its auto unit to pair with additional partners. Fiat, however, may not be interested with other liaisons. In fact, chairman John Elkann told reporters that Fiat doesn’t need any partners other than Chrysler.
“Fiat doesn’t need other partners,” Elkann told reporters at an annual meeting for the Exor Group (Fiat’s largest shareholder). “We have a strong relationship with Chrysler and that is what we are actively working on.”
Although Fiat gained control of Chrysler last year, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne had reportedly been looking for other partnerships, and had once eyed the purchase of General Motors’ Opel unit when it was for sale. Elkann, however, has put an end to Marchionne’s wandering eye.
Marchionne is presently CEO at Chrysler, Fiat’s automotive group, and Fiat’s industrial operations. Once the division between Fiat SpA and Fiat Industrial occurs, Marchionne will likely remain with the car business, allowing him to focus on doubling its global sales by 2014.
Elkann told reporters the Exor group, which is largely owned by the Agnelli clan, will remain the largest shareholder in both the industrial and automotive operations. If “growth” opportunities appear, however, Elkann said Exor would consider selling a portion of its stake.
“We would rather be smaller shareholders in a bigger Fiat than block Fiat from becoming bigger,” Elkann said.