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Marchionne steps up pressure for GM merger

The outspoken executive claims it is \"unconscionable not to force a partner.\"

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne is once again stepping up pressure for a merger with General Motors.

After analyzing product offerings, platform architectures and factories from both companies, the outspoken CEO argues that a combined entity would make $30 billion in profit each year (EBITDA estimate).

"We're not talking about marginal improvement in margins," he told Automotive News in a lengthy interview. "We're talking about cataclysmic changes in performance, just huge."

Marchionne further suggests that it would be "unconscionable" not to "force a partner," hinting that FCA could be scheming to attack with a hostile merger bid, though previous reports suggest GM's large shareholders are not quite as enthusiastic about such a proposition.

Analysts have disagreed on the numbers, with some supporting Marchionne's optimistic forecast and others dismissing the projections as likely fantasy that would be difficult or impossible to achieve in the real world. In apparent agreement with the latter group, GM has dismissed the idea and voiced confidence in its own solo strategy.

"Why should [GM] bail out FCA?" an unnamed high-ranking GM executive said.

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