Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is currently in talks with Hyundai regarding possible partnerships. Seemingly always seeking a partner, FCA says the talks are strictly regarding technical partnerships, not a merger or acquisition.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been seeking a partner for the automaker since about 2015, when he publicly courted General Motors for a possible merger. After failing to win GM over, rumors have suggested the company has talked to Volkswagen AG and other automakers.
Now the company is apparently trying Hyundai, but with a more achievable goal in mind than a full-scale merger. FCA says it already works with Hyundai by buying components from them. Marchionne says the company is exploring ways of deepening that relationship, such as collaborating on transmissions or hydrogen fuel cell technology.
According to Reuters Marchionne was asked by journalists if the talks could potentially lead to a merger and his response was, “I don’t believe so.”
Marchionne is slated to retire from the top-spot at FCA in 2019. As such, the executive is currently in the process of drafting a new business plan for FCA that will carry the organization through 2022. The fact he’s looking for partners during this process comes as little surprise.
His business plan is expected to recommend FCA spin-off some of its assets, including component businesses to focus on its core vehicle-building assets.