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Chairman confirms FCA CEO contacted GM about merger

by Drew Johnson

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is serious about another major merger.

The chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, John Elkann, confirmed on Friday that the automaker's chief executive officer is actively pursuing mergers with other companies, including General Motors.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne hasn't been shy about voicing his desire to merge with another automaker to consolidate development costs, but so far he hasn't named any specific targets. GM had been rumored as a potential target by FCA, but nothing was ever officially confirmed. That is, until now.

In an interview with Reuters, Elkann confirmed that Marchionne has reached out to GM CEO Mary Barra via email about a possible tie-up. Moreover, Elkann further revealed that Marchionne's note to GM was "not the only conversation” the company has had with possible partners.

Barra reportedly declined Marchionne's merger proposition, but that doesn't mean a tie-up with GM is completely out of the question. When asked if his company would ever consider a hostile bid for an automaker like GM, Elkann said FCA would "act with determination if there are the prerequisites to do something that makes sense.”

Marchionne believes there will be at least one major merger in the auto industry by 2018, so there could be some action on that front in the coming months and years.

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