Sergio Marchionne is adamant that global automakers will have to merge to remain profitable in the near future, and he'll tell that to anyone who's listening. Mary Barra, however, is not interested. According to The New York Times, the Fiat-Chrysler chief proposed a merger with General Motors via email to his counterpart back in March. Marchionne proposed meeting to discuss the matter, but Barra and her team reportedly rejected even entertaining the idea.

This of course is not the first time Marchionne has raised the idea of a merger. He masterminded the marriage between Fiat and Chrysler, and reports have since suggested further mergers with Volkswagen, Peugeot, Ford, and others – including GM's own Opel unit.

Some have taken his calls for consolidation as a weakness, but Marchionne insists that his empire is in good health – and that it's the industry as a whole which is in an untenable position. According to his view, automakers around the world need to align themselves into larger groups in order to reduce redundancy in investment, development and infrastructure – the duplication of which he terms as wasteful. "It's fundamentally immoral to allow for that waste to continue unchecked," said Marchionne to the Times.

"I think it is absolutely clear that the amount of capital waste that's going on in this industry is something that certainly requires remedy," he said in a conference call with industry analysts late last month following the rejected GM approach. "A remedy in our view is through consolidation."

Share This Photo X