FCA chairman confirms Marchionne email to Barra

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is apparently backing up his talk about the need for consolidation in the auto industry with quite a bit of action. One recent report claimed that he even emailed General Motors CEO Mary Barra to make a deal. FCA chairman John Elkann has now confirmed that the correspondence actually happened, and that it wasn't a one-off occurrence.

"It was not the only email, it was not the only conversation," Elkann (pictured above with Marchionne) said, according to Reuters. He is a member of the Agnelli family that has a controlling stake in FCA's stock and is supporting the idea of a merger. The automaker is willing to "act with determination if there are the prerequisites to do something that makes sense," Elkann said.

Marchionne has been pushing for industry consolidation for months. While GM has been the main target of late, Ford was also rumored as a partner under consideration. In the past, there have also been reports of FCA negotiating with Volkswagen Group and PSA Peugeot Citro├źn for mergers, as well.

According to Reuters, part of the reason for all of this effort might be as a way for Marchionne to ensure his legacy, though he's denied that. He's reportedly considering retiring after 2018. In his opinion, consolidation is needed because automakers are investing too much money to achieve the same goals. The situation would be better after mergers, and he predicts something to happen before 2018.

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