Marchionne wants to match the success of Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

After about a year and a half after CEO Sergio Marchionne fearlessly said that he will turn Chrysler Group into one of the world's top five carmakers, it has become apparent that this currently isn't the case. On Dec. 11, 2008, Marchionne spoke to 1,500 people in the auditorium at Fiat's Turin headquarters.

He said that to achieve the goal and to survive longterm, Fiat would have to forge alliances. History tells us that this didn't go as planned at all.

After Marchionne got Chrysler, he moved to acquire General Motor Co.'s Opel, Saab, and South American operations last year. But for one reason or another, he failed as GM either wanted to sell to another company or chose to keep the unit.

Giuseppe Berta, a Fiat expert and business professor at Milan's Bocconi University, said that Marchionne had visualized a "large automotive group under the control of Fiat."

Stephen Pope, chief global equity strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in London, thinks that Marchionne will have a harder time at getting to this goal.

He faces the challenge of at least getting to the level of success that Carlos Ghosn, who is the CEO of the alliance of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., has achieved.

Pope said that to date, Ghosn's 11-year-old Renault-Nissan partnership is the only major auto alliance that has worked.

Pope said that Ghosn is moving even farther ahead as it was announced earlier this month that Renault-Nissan had entered a deal with Daimler AG to share small-car and engine technology. [via autonews - sub. required]

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