Sergio Marchionne appears to be very well regarded within the auto industry and his work making Fiat a viable automaker has been pretty remarkable overall. Now Marchionne is charged with saving the beleaguered and product-starved Chrysler while also keeping momentum back home in Italy. That's a big job that Marchionne won't be able to do for long. The dualing CEO reportedly said in a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington that he will decide which company to run within the next 24 months. It appears Marchionne is no Carlos Ghosn, for better or for worse.
Marchionne also gave some pretty stark assessments of the Pentastar, as he reportedly told the audience that Chrysler walked away from bankruptcy a cleaner company but "but we ended up with the same stuff we had." Ouch. Marchionne also reportedly used his time at the Peterson Institute to discuss what he calls the industry's overcapacity problem. He said that while Chrysler has the post-bankruptcy ability to pick and choose when to grow, in Europe, overcapacity results in billions in lost revenue. Germany, for example, hasn't shuttered a plant since before World War II.
So Marchionne is going to give up one of his CEO posts within the next two years. On one hand, it's nice to see that the Fiat/Chrysler CEO is a realist who doesn't want to stretch himself too thin, and at the same time we like the fact that he plans to stay at Chrysler at least until it begins to receive some new products via its partnership with Fiat. Do we think he'll choose Chrysler over Fiat? The Fiat that resides in sunny Italy with brands like Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo? We wouldn't, but hey, we're not millionaire CEOs, either.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau | Image: AFP/Getty]