FCA is set to go NYSE — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the new company created by the merger of the Italian carmaker Fiat and Chrysler, the once bankrupt American carmaker, wants to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange by October1, says Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne.
The move would be the next, long-awaited step in completing the tie-up of the two makers who are officially incorporated in the Netherlands, though for now the new FCA continues to operate a dual headquarter strategy, with bases in suburban Detroit and Turin.
“October 1. That is the target,” Marchionne said. “But it’s a target. It could slip thirty, sixty or ninety days,” he added, following a ceremony to market the renovation of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, a suburban Detroit factory that was originally supposed to close following the U.S. maker’s 2009 bankruptcy. Instead, it has undergone a more than $800 million upgrade to handle production of the new Chrysler 200 sedan and other products to follow.
(For more on the new Chrysler 200 sedan, Click Here.)
The NYSE listing is one key element in the integration of Chrysler and Fiat. The merger was designed to help the new company expand into new markets around the world. The listing will give the new FCA more access to capital, Marchionne said in January. Fiat is currently listed on the Italian stock exchange in Turin and Chrysler share haven’t been publicly traded since it was taken over by Germany’s Daimler in 1998, as part of the abortive DaimlerChrysler “merger of equals.”
While FCA is moving rapidly ahead with its globalization plans, negotiations with Guangzhou Auto, one of China’s largest automakers, have fallen behind scheduled. The partnership with Guangzhou Auto is designed to produce Jeeps for the Chinese market, increasing FCA’s footprint across China.
Marchionne had hoped to finish the deal with Guangzhou but it appears the deadline has “slipped,” he told reporters during his visit to Sterling Heights.
FCA, however, will be prepared to finally bring an Alfa-Romeo model in the U.S. this fall. Marchionne has been promising to re-launch Alfa in the U.S. since Fiat and Chrysler first tied up but has repeatedly delayed the move, admitting the little 4C sports car that will anchor the brand’s return wasn’t ready to sell in the U.S. market.
(Click Here for more on the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.)
The little 4C, with its carbon-fiber body, isn’t expected to command much volume but FCA executives hope it will revive interest in the Alfa-Romeo brand, which abandoned the U.S. market in 1995.
Marchionne said that both Maserati and Fiat dealers in the U.S. will have an opportunity to sell Alfa Romeo. U.S. retailers were promised a chance to sell Alfas before they opened Fiat dealerships several years ago.
“There is no doubt that we have certainly an obligation to the best-performing Fiat dealers to give them the opportunity,” Marchionne said, adding that Alfa Romeo will introduce a second, larger model next year.
Marchionne also said Chryslers next-generation minivan will hit the road in 2016 and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is considering adding a version with a hybrid powertrain, “You have to look at a hybrid,” considering where the fuel-economy standards are headed, added Marchionne.
(For more on the Chrysler hybrid minivan plans, Click Here.)
The Fiat Chrysler chief executive officer emphasized the next minivan will be built in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit, and will not require any assistance from government agencies in Canada. FCA withdrew a request for assistance from the Canadian government after its $700 million application became a political hot potato.
“It’s a private investment decision by Chrysler of Canada. Fiat Chrysler is not in the business of taking handouts,” added Marchionne.