According to the Toledo Blade, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new CEO Mike Manley has pledged not to rock the very successful proverbial boat, keeping FCA, parent company of the Jeep brand, moving forward on a well-established five year plan developed by the late CEO, Sergio Marchionne.
“One of the things that I had a lot of time working with Sergio on was obviously our five-year plan, which sets the course for the company over the period,” Mr. Manley said last week following the announcement of Mr. Marchionne’s untimely passing. “What we’ve always demonstrated in the past is the ability to be flexible because circumstances change, and that flexibility is important as well. If that flexibility includes the need to make deals, or gives us the opportunity to do that, we’re going to do so. But fundamentally my mandate is to deliver that five-year plan. We have all of the resources we need over the period and my intention is to deliver the plan as a strong, independent FCA.”
The emphasis seems to be on rumors that FCA was looking for strategic global partners to help build the company’s future. Mr. Manley’s statement seems, at least for now, to indicate that those partnerships are not on the table.
This is good news for Jeep fans and investors who feared that Manley, who previously held the CEO position at FCA’s most valuable brand, Jeep, might feel pressure to accept deals including the rumored $35 Billion offer by a Chinese auto maker to purchase Jeep.
Manley also used the occasion of the earnings report to say a few words about Marchionne.
“This is a very sad and difficult time, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Sergio’s family, friends, and colleagues,” he said. “There is no doubt Sergio was a very special, unique man and there is no doubt that he’s going to be sorely missed.”
For now, it seems, the legacy of the larger then life Sergio Marchionne will live on in the growth and development of an independent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
And a phenomenal Jeep brand.