Fiat/Chrysler sold about 4.2 million cars in 2010, and company CEO Sergio Marchionne expects to improve that by more than 33% come 2014, predicting sales of 5.7 units that year (analysts, on the other hand, predict average Fiat/Chrysler sales of 4.9 million in 2014). Operating profit for 2011 has been pegged at around $600 million, a rewarding bump from the $200 to $500 million predicted earlier in the year and dwarfed by the predicted $3 billion operating profit for 2012.

For Marchionne, though, those numbers need help from the outside: he says that an automaker needs to sell ten million units per year globally in order to reach "a new level of efficiency" and get development costs where he wants them. To wit, he is considering a partnership with a third car company to make that happen. He has repeatedly stated that he hasn't spoken with anyone yet, but Italian paper Corriere della Serra has said that Peugeot is ready to talk, while other analysts have mentioned makers in emerging markets as potential partners.

This is hardly the first time Marchionne has mentioned his quest for Volkswagen-like scale – in fact, he's been quite consistent on his desire to rationalize costs throughout the carmaking process. Based on that, it's inevitable that he'll tie up, the only questions now are who and when. He could wait until Fiat digests the remaining 41.5 percent of Chrysler it doesn't own and "merges" with The Pentastar, or if the right partner raises a hand, it might be sooner. Whoever it is, if it results in more novelties like the Dodge Dart, we tentatively say we're all for it.


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  • 23 Comments
      ICantDrive88
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda? It's no longer affiliated with Ford, so it needs platform sharing...
        Frank
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        You might have something there. Chrysler - trucks, minivans, Jeeps, and large cars. FIAT - B segment cars, exotics, work vans and small trucklets. Mazda - C and D segment cars, and small pickups. It might work!
      Bill Burke
      • 2 Years Ago
      I truly believe that it is premature for Fiat/Chrysler to be in a serious persuit for additional partners. It should take another five years for the synergy between Chrysler and it's American-centric methodologies and Fiat with it's methods and thinking to foster a coherent international business process. The Dart is a fantastic product, but only a first venture. It should be a big success, but on paper the Fiat 500 should be doing better, although the Dart is much better suited to the American market. Lets wait and see how the mini-van, crossover situation gets resolved. Let's see how the next generation mid-sized cars work out. How will the Maserati brand adsorb the shortened wheelbased Chrysler platform? Will the Jeep brand have smaller vehicles that explode their sales in the developing markets as expected? Too many questions to be answered at this time and serious challenges to be met to be thinking expansion.
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like everyone else said, Suzuki would be a good partner since they are already using Fiat engines. Mazda too. :D
      ThinkAboutIt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think that Fiat would be looking for a Japanese partner, unless it could offer major access to China markets that Fiat doesn't already have. I think it'd be more likely that it would be looking for another European partner to consolidate market share and perhaps tap into its cash assets/reserves. Frankly, I see Fiat needing a Mercedes-like Merger of Equals/Looting of another automaker to build its own position as the ECM car market gets progressively smaller.
      TokyoCarGuy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Suzuki. They already work with Fiat engines. Suzuki brings the Japanese/Asian side to the global partnership and its dominant strength in India. They all need help in China, and Suzuki all but disappeared in US. Suzuki just needs to get out from the agreement with VW, and that wont be easy. Mitsubishi not an alternative. They are only being propped up by their former zaibatsu banks. Other alternative would be to forgo an ailing Japanese company and go directly with a Chinese company if they can get around the Chinese government restrictions and regulations.
      k9182
      • 2 Years Ago
      "predicting sales of 5.7 units that year" I'm sure it won't be that difficult to sell 5,7 cars in a year.
      GhettoDude
      • 2 Years Ago
      A year ago or so ago, Marchionne was saying that an automaker needed to sell six million vehicles/year to succeed, now it's ten.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's "Corriere della Sera" (sera means evening in italian while serra means greenhouse)!
      TokyoCarGuy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Suzuki fits. They already partnered on engines and such. Suzuki dominant in India, but none particularly strong in China. Suzuki just about disappeared in US, so needs their combined help there too. Thus, you see Suzuki trying to wriggle out of the agreement with VW....
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please don't let it be Lotus... I can't see Marchionne getting along w/ Bahar. Altho, if he were to eject Bahar...that might not be so bad. Imagine Lotus having full access to all those engines, trannies and Fiat's global buying power...That would allow them to get back on track and produce some truly epic cars.
      Klayton Kelly
      • 2 Years Ago
      Suzuki is the best choice. They already have American market presence, have big presence in developing markets in Asia, have already worked with Fiat, and just broke up with Volkswagen.
        dklkse1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Klayton Kelly
        I don't know why you are getting down-voted for your comment. Seems reasonable to me.
      Synthono
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another plus in the Suzuki column: Maruti Suzuki in India. It's a huge player there, so it'd be really attractive if you wanted to get in on the growing Indian market.
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