FCA’s Marchionne Needs a Straightjacket

Sergio Marchionne

Automotive News conducted a two-hour interview with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne and this man is bat shit crazy.

“It would be unconscionable not to force a partner,” he said.

Sounds like the ramblings of a psychiatric patient, right? Wrong. The man is absolutely serious, also insisting this isn’t the start of a hostile takeover. “Not hostile”, he says. “There are varying degrees of hugs. I can hug you nicely, I can hug you tightly, I can hug you like a bear, I can really hug you. Everything starts with physical contact. Then it can degrade, but it starts with physical contact.”

Wow. Not only does Marchionne sound like he belongs in a straitjacket for the rest of his life, but he also sounds like he’s the inmate constantly starting the fights.

Marchionne said GM isn’t taking his calls (hmm, I wonder why). He’s a bit upset they won’t talk to him, as he said in the interview, “You may reject the deal but you can’t reject the discussion. If you’re refusing to talk to me, and you have seen nothing you either think you’re above it all or think the capital markets are full of schmucks that owe you something.” So, if he thinks this highly of GM, does he think he’s Zeus?

Marchionne goes on to say there are other deals out there, he just doesn’t want those deals.

At this point,  Marchionne gets to talking figures on a merger with GM, though he doesn’t explain where those numbers came from. I’m thinking he pulled a number out of a magic hat that none of us can even begin to fathom. He says the combined entities of GM and FCA can “make $30 billion a year in cash.” I’d like to join him on whatever planet he’s on.

Arndt Ellinghorst, Evercore ISI head of global automotive research, says that target is realistic. “A combined GM-FCA will generate almost $25 billion this year,” he wrote in an email.

Marchionne says he’s never met GM CEO Mary Barra, adding, “I’m not trying to date Mary, for the record, but I tried to get to see her.” Who says that sh*t?!!

A GM spokesman said: “We’ve responded appropriately to any outreaches that he’s had.”

Marchionne ended his interview with this: “This is not a question of telling me to screw off. I understand [GM’s] desire to be alone and execute [its] plan. I’ve listened to the comments…’We’re still merging with ourselves’, which I do not buy for a company that is 107 years old. You can’t merge with yourself.”

Well then, I guess he thinks he just called GM out. He’s got such a high opinion of FCA, I wonder if he’s forgotten all their issues and recalls this year alone. If you want to read the whole interview, I linked it above but here it is again.


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