FCA head Sergio Marchionne is still looking for a partner in the rough-and-tumble world of automaking. At the recent Geneva Motor Show, the CEO suggested that Fiat could help get Apple’s autonomous car off the ground.
Bloomberg quoted the outspoken honcho speaking in Geneva: “I would assume that we have the credibility to be one of the players they have looked at… There are parts of us that would be interesting for them.”
This would not be the first time Marchionne has publicly and vociferously sought a partner. In a high profile exchange a year ago, he wanted to merge with GM and Ford, both of whom politely declined the offer. A few months later, it was reported that he had taken a trip to Silicon Valley and met with Apple, Google and Tesla. Around the same time, Marchionne also made statements that he was “intrigued by the notion of having technology disruptors show up” and that they could “fundamentally hurt the industry.”
It almost appears as if Marchionne believes the writing is on the wall, and that if FCA doesn’t make a game-changing move, it will be cast to the side lines when the self-driving cars take over. Marchionne is a self-described “Apple freak” and believes he can speak the tech company’s language. “Usually the industry comes into that dialogue with a high degree of arrogance as we know how to make cars. That’s not very helpful as their syntax is worth more than our ability to build cars.”