Marchionne Eyeing a 51% Stake in Chrysler
"I think it is possible, I don't know whether it is likely, but it is possible that we go over the 50 percent if Chrysler decides to go to the market in 2011," Sergio Marchionne was quoted by Bloomberg as saying at the Milan stock exchange, as Fiat Industrial began its trading life as an independent company.
Fiat has 20 percent of Chrysler since 2009, after the company emerged from bankruptcy, in exchange for small car and green technologies, as well as management know-how. The Italian carmaker would have to repay Chrysler's loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments in order to reach the total 51 percent.
The first 15 percent increase is expected this year, when three milestones (when Chrysler makes a small engine in the US, meets sales objectives outside of North America and sells a domestically made car in the US that gets 40 mpg or 5.9 liter/100km) will be reached, each yielding another 5 percent share, to raise the total to 35 percent.
Marchionne's next move will be to get Chrysler back on the US stock exchange, which he confirmed was likely in the second part of 2011. Market analysts expect the two companies to eventually merge, although Marchionne repeated that he has no immediate plans for a fusion. "A legal merger is not going to change our life," he said, adding that the two companies already well integrated from a production standpoint.