After seemingly laying off talking about potential deal, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is at it again, talking up the possibility of a partnership with Hyundai on technical projects.
Marchionne, during an appearance in Milan over the weekend, was careful to rule out any kind of merger with Hyundai after a flurry of reports this summer that FCA as eager to find merger partners for its automotive business.
“We already buy components from (Hyundai) … let’s see if we can agree on other points, especially for the development of transmissions and hydrogen,” Marchionne told journalists, adding there was “nothing to announce for the moment.”
Asked if broader collaboration could turn into a merger, Marchionne said: “I don’t believe so.”
(Marchionne spoke with Feds in FCA/UAW Training Fund investigation. Click Here for details.)
FCA has been the subject of merger speculation for more than two years ever since an unsuccessful 2015 attempt to tie up with larger U.S. rival GM fell short. Its shares have increased in value since August after reports of interest from China and Hyundai.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in Los Angeles last week that FCA has proven to be an excellent partner for its self-driving car project. FCA has already delivered more than 600 hybrid Pacificas and with Waymo preparing to launch its own transportation services unit, FCA would appear to be in a position to emerge as a key supplier to the Google subsidiary’s self-driving car project.
(Click Here for details about FCA’s 3Q results.)
However, more self-driving car alliances are expected to be unveiled to at the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January.
Marchionne also confirmed that he is continuing to restructuring Fiat’s operations through the spinoff of perhaps sale of other units.
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FCA could sell its stake in Magneti Marelli, an in-house supplier of electrical and electronics equipment. It also may consider spinning it off into a separate company or may choose to do nothing, Marchionne said. Comau, a supplier of robotics that is wholly owned by FCA, also could be spun off, he said.