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Marchionne Issues Warning About China

Chrysler CEO says industry can meet 54.5 mpg mileage rules.

by on Aug.03, 2011

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the 2011 Management Briefing Seminars - notably shedding his trademark black sweater for a more Summer-friendly polo shirt.

China’s fast-growing automakers pose a direct theft to the more established automotive order, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne warned during an appearance at an annual automotive gathering in Northern Michigan today.

But the Canadian-educated executive said he is more confident than many that the industry will be able to meet the newly-approved 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard – and without having to make a major shift to electric propulsion.

“We cannot afford to be unprepared for the ascent of China.   Even assuming China were to export only 10 percent of what it produces, the risk we face in our home markets is enormous,” said Marchionne, during an appearance at the annual Management Briefing Seminar, in Traverse City, Michigan.


“The excuse that we did not understand or that we underestimated the scale will serve no purpose.  Rather we need to continue to work to make our industrial base more competitive, because the day of reckoning is inevitably coming,” he said, taking aim at the seeming complacency of companies such as General Motors, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG, all of which have grown to depend on the Chinese market.