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Fiat Shareholders Approve Chrysler Merger

Deal passes final hurdle after five years.

by on Aug.01, 2014

Fiat SpA shareholder overwhelmingly approved the merger with Chrysler creating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Just over five years after the Italian automaker effectively took control of bankrupt American manufacturer, Chrysler, shareholders at Fiat SpA have voted their approval of merging the two companies into what they hope is a much more powerful, global automotive firm.

The vote, which came a day after Fiat reported a sharp decline in second-quarter earnings, now triggers several additional steps. The newly formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hopes to complete a goal of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s, listing its stock on the NYSE, starting by mid-October.

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“With today’s meeting begins the future of our company,” John Elkann, the grandson of late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli and now its chairman, said at the start of the shareholders meeting, likely the last that will be held in Italy. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Takes Next Step toward Completing Merger

Italian maker’s board approves new framework.

by on Jun.16, 2014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. took one step closer to being a reality with the approval the Fiat SpA board of directors for the merger.

One of the final steps of making Fiat and Chrysler one complete company was taken over the weekend when the Fiat SpA board approved the cross-border merger terms that will allow the Italian automaker to become a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The terms are essentially the blueprint for new company’s structure, including being organized in Netherlands, as well as being listed on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario in Milan, Italy.

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Part of that includes Fiat shareholders receiving one share of Fiat Chrysler stock for each share of stock they own in the Milan-based maker. The plan must be approved by the Fiat shareholders, who will get the opportunity to do so at meeting in the third quarter, according to media reports. (more…)

Marchionne Gets $30.5 Million in 2013 from Fiat

Total package puts him higher than Barra, but lower than Mulally.

by on Mar.11, 2014

FCA Chief Sergio Marchionne's reported compensation for 2013 from Fiat SpA was $30.5 million.

As it turns out, Sergio Marchionne does not need any salary from Chrysler to be among the highest paid automotive CEOs in metro Detroit.

Marchionne took home $5 million in 2013 as CEO of Fiat SpA, but it’s not the salary, it’s stock options that put him near the fore: 2.3 million in options worth about $25.5 million based on the Italian automaker’s current share price, according to a remuneration report released by Fiat yesterday. He hasn’t exercised any of the options.

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His income breaks down as $3.2 million of salary and $1.8 million in bonuses. That total was $1.3 million less than his earnings for 2012. His total compensation in 2012 was $18.9 million – or 14.5 million Euros. Since the two companies have finally completed their merger, the newly minted FCA will likely report a single figure for 2014. (more…)

Marchionne Pushing for Fiat-Chrysler Listing on NYSE

CEO plans to lay out plans for new automaker to board.

by on Jan.24, 2014

Might Chrysler House in downtown Detroit be the new headquarters for Fiat-Chrysler?

The evolution of what will be Fiat-Chrysler continues as CEO Sergio Marchionne will tell the Fiat SpA board that the New York Stock Exchange should be the primary market for the newly merged company’s stock: moving it further away from Italy, Fiat’s ancestral home.

In a meeting expected to take place next week, Marchionne is expected to put forth a series of recommendations to the board. In addition to listing on the NYSE, he’s likely to recommend the company’s headquarters be located in the U.S. as well as having a location in the U.K. for tax purposes.

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Listing on the NYSE is important because it puts the company within view of potential borrowing partners, Marchionne said previously. This could be important as he continues to push Fiat from a regional European automaker to now Fiat-Chrysler, a global player of scale that can compete with bigger makers like Volkswagen AG, General Motors and Toyota. (more…)

Now Married, Where will Chrysler/Fiat Live?

Heritage and history make headquarters location a touchy subject.

by on Jan.02, 2014

Might Chrysler House in downtown Detroit be the new headquarters for Chrysler/Fiat?

With Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler nearly complete, one big question remains unanswered: where will the headquarters of the newly combined companies be located?

Fiat represents an enormous part of Italy’s industrial heritage, but Chrysler/Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne is looking for ways to finesse the issue and putting the combined company’s headquarters in Detroit.

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Prior to the announcement of the deal to merge the two companies before the end of January, executives from Chrysler/Fiat had noted privately the number of people involved in shifting the reconstructed companies to the U.S. would be relatively few. (more…)

Many Questions Raised by Fiat-Chrysler Deal – Such as Where Maker Will Be Headquartered

As investors applaud Fiat-Chrysler news employees asked to “remain united.”

by on Jan.02, 2014

Marchionne currently spends much of his time shuttling between Fiat and Chrysler headquarters on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fiat SpA shares soared to nearly their highest level in a year on news that the Italian maker will soon complete its “defining” acquisition of U.S. alliance partner Chrysler for about $4.3 billion.

At the same time, Fiat’s top two executives urged workers on both sides of the Atlantic to “remain united” as the deal, nearly five years in the making, comes to a successful conclusion. But at least some union members in Italy were raising concerns about what the merger will mean, especially as Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne continues pressing for further concessions while warning future production plans could shift away from Italy.

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Indeed, one of the big questions is whether the newly merged company will be based in Italy, the U.S., or continue to operate with dual headquarters on either side of the Atlantic.

(more…)

Fiat and UAW Agree to Complete Chrysler Acquisition

Deal nets union more than $4 billion for health care trust.

by on Jan.01, 2014

Sergio Marchionne's patience paid off as the Fiat and the UAW reach a deal for the union's stake in Chrysler.

After months of speculation about when — or if — the deal would be done, it is: Fiat SpA and the UAW have reached an unexpected New Year’s Day agreement for the automaker to buy the union’s remaining stake in once-bankrupt Chrysler Group for $3.65 billion up front, plus an additional $700 million after the deal closes.

Fiat acquires the remaining 41.46% from the union’s health care trust and is expected to complete the acquisition, a key goal of CEO Sergio Marchionne, by Jan. 20. The Italian automaker will pay $1.75 billion from its own bank account, while Chrysler will pay $1.9 billion. Chrysler also agreed to pay the VEBA an additional $700 million in in four $175 million annual installments after the deal is done.

The two parties had been viewed as being far apart on the purchase price for the stake — which could have scuttled the long-planned takeover by the Italian maker. The UAW had repeatedly suggested it wanted more than $5 billion while Fiat and Chrysler CEO Marchionne said he wouldn’t pay it. In fact, at one point last autumn, Marchionne began dropping hints that Fiat might consider severing its ties with the U.S. maker entirely.  However, the two parties continued to quietly search for mutual ground.

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“Clearly it’s a victory for Marchionne,” said Stephanie Brinley, analyst with IHS Automotive. “It took a lot of time and a lot of energy. It’s time well spent. More importantly, it’s resolved. They’ve eliminated the uncertainty in terms of who owns who.” (more…)

Fiat Dropping $12.3-Billion to Jump Start Europe Sales

Maker’s market share has dropped three points in four years.

by on Dec.10, 2013

Fiat is looking to pump up its European sales bolstering sales of its luxury lines, including Maserati.

Fiat SpA plans to drop $12.3 billion to breathe new life into the company’s sluggish sales in Europe. The plan is to put the Italian automaker back on the road to profitability with annual losses ending within the next three years.

The company plans to focus on jump starting the sales of its 500 subcompact and Panda small car as well as its pricier Maserati and Alfa Romeo lines, according to reports. In the past, Fiat said it planned to develop 20 new models for Europe by 2016, including eight Alfa Romeos. However, the company has repeatedly begged off providing any updates on its strategy, saying only it will provide more insight second quarter of 2014.

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In addition to the aforementioned products, it’s also introducing a lineup of Jeeps next year that will be built in Italy. Also expected is the replacement of the Fiat Punto with a five-door version of the 500, which will likely be built in Poland to save on labor costs. Wages for auto workers there are 75% lower than those in Italy. (more…)

Maserati Riding New Products to Sales Goal of 50,000 by 2015

Redesigned Quattroporte, all-new Ghibli leading the charge.

by on Oct.17, 2013

The Maserati Levante is the maker's first-ever SUV and considered an integral part of the company's plans to sell 50,000 units annually by 2015.

Much of the focus on Fiat SpA has been on how it can gain control of Chrysler Group and what it will mean for the Italian automaker, but lost in that story is the success of one of its other brands: Maserati.

The Modena-based maker of famous names like Quattroporte and Gran Turismo is enjoying a renaissance, but it’s one of its own creation and determination. Last year, the company announced a goal of selling 50,000 units globally by 2015. The company’s high-water mark for sales was 9,000 in 2008.

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While it seemed ambitious at the time, the company sold about 6,300 units in 2012, it has orders for 22,500 vehicles this year and is trending up.  (more…)