Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, along with other Fiat representatives, sat down with Barack Obama's automotive task force yesterday to discuss the Italian automaker's potential partnership with Chrysler.
Marchionne told the task force that his company would "add value" through an alliance with Chrysler. "We think we are adding significant technology and products to the offerings of Chrysler." He said that with Fiat, Chrysler had a fair chance at succeeding in achieving long-term viability.
Under the proposed alliance, Fiat would receive a minimum of 35 percent of Chrysler in exchange for its platforms and technology. Fiat would have an option to buy up to 55 percent of Chrysler in the future, and would have access to Chrysler's supplier network to start selling Fiats and Alfa Romeos in the U.S.
Marchionne told the task force that no U.S. taxpayer money would leave the U.S. under the terms of the tie-up. He told reporters that the task force members were "intelligently critical" of the proposal. "They recognize the magnitude of the problem, and there is an absolute determination to finding a solution," he said.
The Chrysler-Fiat alliance will only go forward if Chrysler receives another $5 billion from the Treasury Department. It was already granted a $4 billion loan from the government late last year. Chrysler says its best chance at attaining long-term viability is a tie-up with Fiat, although it also strongly suggested that a merger with GM would be profitable for both companies. GM executives have repeatedly shrugged off the idea.
Source: Automotive News