Marchionne Sets His Sites High


Detroit News - January 15, 2013

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says Fiat SpA will end up owning all of Chrysler Group LLC, though he acknowledges that the process may get messy.

Read what Marchionne had to say at Detroit Auto Show.

The Italian automaker already owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler. The rest is owned by an hourly retiree health care trust run by the United Auto Workers — part of the 2009 bailout deal that gave control of the Auburn Hills automaker to Fiat. But Marchionne, who is now CEO of both companies, has long made it clear that he wants the whole thing.

Last week, the UAW trust — known as a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association, or VEBA — took the first step to taking part of its shares in Chrysler public again. Marchionne said Monday, at the Detroit auto show, that he welcomed the VEBA’s decision to “explore” an initial public offering, but stressed that will not change the ultimate outcome.

Either way, he said Chrysler will be converted from a limited liability company into a corporation, a process that Marchionne said will take eight to nine months. That conversion will require its own negotiations between Fiat and the UAW’s trust.