Fiat CEO Sees Suzuki, Mazda As Partners

Fiat CEO Sees Suzuki, Mazda As Partners
Market News
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Fiat SpA is still open to partnerships to help stop European losses but isn’t actively looking for them, and sees Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. as compatible partners for Asia, where strong growth sharply contrasts with the company’s traditional European market.

“We’re not looking, but we are open [to offers],” Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne told reporters at a roundtable discussion held at the Geneva Motor Show. “We talk to everyone,” he added.

Marchionne had spoke of Fiat’s availability for a partnership in Europe before PSA Peugeot-Citroen SA and General Motors Co GM -4.50% announced a broad alliance last week to try to shore up their respective European car operations.

News of the alliance between GM and Peugeot has left analysts wondering about the options that remain for Fiat in Europe, where the company lost EUR500 million at the operational level last year, when excluding its luxury brands Ferrari and Maserati. Fiat aims to break-even by 2014.

“All [auto makers] could join Fiat to help it in Europe,” he said in response to a question about possible partners in the region. “As long as there are no antitrust issues, all are acceptable as partners.”

Marchionne declined to identify any candidates, but did say that Germany’s Volkswagen AG wouldn’t be compatible.

He also said the Peugeot-GM alliance wouldn’t prevent Fiat from making deals with either of them in the future. Nor did the alliance jeopardize the joint venture Fiat has with PSA Peugeot-Citroen to make vans, though it has “complicated” the situation as far as the various scenarios available to Fiat in Europe.

Nearly every mass-market manufacturer loses money in Europe. Not only is the market brutally competitive, but sales have been falling since the sovereign debt crisis scared consumers from making any big-ticket purchases. This has left manufacturers with a production overcapacity of an estimated 20%.

Fiat was previously seen by some analysts and investors as a likely candidate for a strategic alliance with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, and the Italian auto maker had once offered to join forces with GM’s Adam Opel division after it had taken control of Chrysler Group LLC in the U.S.

Suzuki has also often been cited by analysts as a partner that could help Fiat expand in Asia, but the Japanese auto maker is currently in a dispute with Volkswagen AG , the German car giant that has a significant stake in Suzuki.

Fiat has a joint venture with Tata Motors Ltd. TTM -4.54% in India and another in China with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co .

Marchionne said Suzuki and Mazda would be good partners for Fiat because their operations would complement those of the Italian auto maker.

Apart from closing plants in Europe, Marchionne said the only other way for auto makers to resolve the problem of overcapacity in the region was to export what those plants produced. Fiat plans to export a new family car called the 500L to the U.S. from a plant in Serbia in 2013. In addition, a new SUV for the Jeep brand will be exported from Italy to the U.S.

Marchionne said the capacity issue was manageable for Fiat at its plants in Italy.

Market Watch

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Preston Waters

Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

More In Market News

News Preston Waters

Stocks Off to Stellar Start in May

Stocks were kicking off May in high style Tuesday, posting sharp gains after a much better-than-expected report on U.S. manufacturing activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising 103 points, or 0.8%, at 13,317, after hitting a four-year high at 13,338. The S&P 500 was up 14 points, or 1%, at 1413, and the Nasdaq was adding 23 points, or 0.7%, at […]

News Preston Waters

Bank Of America, JPMorgan: Dow Midday Movers

U.S. stocks were rising in midday action Tuesday following a better-than-expected read on U.S. manufacturing activity.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 116 points, or 0.9%, at 13,330. The biggest percentage gainers within the Dow were Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Intel (INTC). Shares of Bank of America rose 2.59% to $8.32. The bank said Tuesday it plans to lay […]

News Preston Waters

Monster Stocks Soar Amid Rumors Coca-Cola Is Set To Buy Energy Drink

Monster Beverage Corp’s shares soared on Monday following a report that Coca-Cola Co. was considering buying the energy drink maker. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed people in reporting that the world’s biggest soft drink maker was in talks to buy Monster. If a deal transpired, Monster would be Coca-Cola’s largest brand acquisition ever. Monster declined […]

News Preston Waters

Stocks Surge After Strong Manufacturing Report

Stocks were surging in morning action Tuesday after a much better-than-expected report on the pace of national manufacturing activity in April.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising 80 points, or 0.6%, at 13,294. The S&P 500 was up 12 points, or 0.8%, at 1410, and the Nasdaq was adding 29 points, or 1%, at 3075. Stocks finished modestly lower Monday, marking […]

News Preston Waters

Bank Of America Keeps Shrinking

Bank of America (BAC)’s plan to lay off some of its highest-paid executives looks like the right response to the current banking environment. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the bank will cut 2,000 positions in its investment banking, commercial banking and non-U.S. wealth-management units targeting “the high-earning employees whose efforts helped Merrill Lynch account for the bulk of […]

News Preston Waters

Stock Market Story: May 1

The first trading day of May got off to a mixed start early Tuesday with all three major U.S. equity indices honing to close to the flat line ahead of a key report on the pace of U.S. manufacturing activity in April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.5 points, or 0.07%, at 13,204.The S&P 500 was up less than a […]

Also On Elite

Women

Vogue Actually Thinks It Discovered That Big Booties Are A Thing

Hey, did you know that Vogue magazine invented the prominent female derrière? According to a recent article published by Vogue, the fashion institution is declaring this the “Era of the Big Booty.” Those fashionistas think they invented it, and even post a picture of Beyoncé’s enviable body in the “Partition” music video just to prove […]

World

Non-Religious Guy Installs Buddha Statue In Neighborhood And Crime Drops 82 Percent

Buddha is bringing peace to Oakland, CA. In 2009, Dan Stevenson installed a 2-foot-tall Buddha statue in the median of a residential street near his house. The statue, purchased at a local home goods store, was merely a gesture of goodwill; Stevenson isn’t religious. But Buddha’s blessing seemed to descend upon the dirty, drug-ridden neighborhood. SFGate […]

Videos

Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ Sounds Amazing As A 1940s Jazz Song (Video)

“Stay With Me,” the soulful hit by British singer/songwriter Sam Smith, has been covered by everyone from Keith Urban to (weirdly enough) Vin Diesel. But, Postmodern Jukebox’s new, 1940s-inspired cover of the song is blowing everyone away. The newest rendition of “Stay With Me” adds horns, bass and cymbals, along with singer Cristina Gatti’s moody vocals to […]

World

The Best Job Ever Is Here And Involves A Lot Of Weed, Sex And A Nice Salary

These days, it is actually possible to get a job revolving around weed (stoners, rejoice!). But, if rolling blunts for rappers doesn’t sound titillating enough for you, there are other options, like marijuana/sex journalism. Here’s the deal: The Denver Post’s pot-focused news site, The Cannabist, which launched late last year, is hiring a “sex columnist, with weed […]