What if Chrysler, sorry, FCA, were to be shut down: sold off: put on to the scrap heap: traded for some sparkly trinkets: banished to the pages of time: left to be nothing but an anecdote and warning to future transportation manufacturers: a punching bag for Jalopnik editors of the future? What if?
Sergio Marchionne, the ‘sweater man’ looks so concerned these days. He should be and not for the reasons you may be thinking. Not because Chrysler/FCA may not see the light of the next decade but because he promised “X” and he is going to deliver “Y”.
If you do a serch on Jalopnik with ‘Sergio Marchionne’ as the subject you will get on the first page, as of July 17th 2015, 20 stories and 13 of them are the “Morning Shift” posts. That means on a daily basis for the past month or so, Marchionne has been in the news saying something everday that is news worthy.
That’s a lot of press and most of it’s been about attempted mergers. A short recap for the uninitiated: Sergio’s big 5 year plan had many holes in it, it promised billions in profit and efficiencies no one else had obtained, China would figure prominently and the world would bask in the glory that is Sergio.
So, much if not all of that is off to a rocky start to say the least and Jeep and Ram are the only things keeping them above water. Ferrari is about to become independant and Marchionne is looking a bit feeble when it comes to his traveling road show trying to court merger partners.
Then I saw this AutoCar UK New Cars for 2015/16 I wrote an earlier piece using almost the same link, this one is just updated, that outlined that I think Mercedes Benz has way too many models and it will mean trouble for them down the road.
Today I thought this: “look at all of the choices, just in new and updated models, this does not include existing and carry over models. Would it really matter if FCA went under?”
I think Sergio is worried that he wont make his targets, and doesn’t care one way or the other if FCA sinks or swims. Yes that is at odds on the surface and absolutely means if Chrysler/FCA fails he wont make his targets. But he’s not worried about Chrysler/FCA, he’s worried about his reputation.
I understand and believe in his argument, in part, for a merger. I have to ask though, with all of the choice available to us around the world, would it really make any difference if Chrysler/FCA was no more? What guarantee or right does any company have to survive for any period of time?
I think most mergers make no sense to anyone but the executives and shareholders. For the rest of us it just means less competition and choice. If you play out the merger senario to it’s logical conclusion, you end up with 3 or 4 car companies producing the same car with different badges on the hood, that’s it.
Yes it’s more expensive and time consuming but the advancements and choice is what we are after. If a market gets too over crowed with choice, as I think we may have now, it means some will not survive, that is how it’s supposed to be. Why should Chrysler/FCA be or be treated any differently?
If they disappeared off the face of the Earth right now, we would be sad, people would need to find new work but life would go on and consumers would find another car/truck to put into their garages.
His plan is stupid, was born of arrogance, miscalculated at every step and may be the end of the company as we know it: it certainly isn’t the first time Chrysler/FCA was on the brink.