Report: GM Considered Fiat Partnership Before Signing With Peugeot

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Recently, General Motors and Peugeot announced a global platform sharing alliance. At the same time, GM CEO Dan Akerson and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne had a brief conversation about merging their European businesses. The talks didn’t gain momentum and never made it to either automaker’s board of directors.

According to The Wall Street Journal, an unnamed person familiar with the talks said that Fiat tried to convince GM that it would be a better partner than Peugeot. Another person told the newspaper that Fiat and Peugeot spoke about an alliance in recent months. The Italian and French automakers currently have a joint venture building small commercial vans.

GM and Fiat signed a European deal before – but in 2005 GM had to pay Fiat $2 billion to dissolve the partnership. Fiat repaid much of Chrysler’s debt owed to the U.S. and Canadian governments, securing controlling stake in the American automaker.

Marchionne told The Wall Street Journal at the Geneva Motor Show, “We are open to everything,” including the GM and Peugeot tie-up. Marchionne also said Mazda and Suzuki would be good potential partners for the Italian automaker.

More automakers are forming limited-scope alliances to help streamline parts purchasing, platform sharing, over/under capacity of manufacturing plants and too many workers.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

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