Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne’s seven predictions for 2015

Published: 13 January 2015

Chrysler group’s CEO Sergio Marchionne faced myriad questions at the 2015 Detroit motor show, on subjects as diverse as electric power and Jeep production. CAR magazine caught up with him at one of his legendary Q&A sessions at the NAIAS.

Click here for our live blog from the show, recording the movers and shakers, debuts and gossip from the show floor.

Marchionne on a vibrant 2015 Detroit show of trucks and performance cars

‘There’s no doubt that the industry is viewing 2015 in very optimistic terms. It sees this year as stable at worst. We are comfortable that as an industry we’re not ferrying out kamikaze commercial practices. This is a good auto show – we’re not complaining, which is unusual.’

On Fiat and Alfa

‘I think we knew that Fiat needed to be complemented by another Italian manufacturer, and the roadmap ahead for Alfa is the same. You’re going to see the new saloon [the Giulia 3-series rival] on 24 June, the 105th anniversary of the founding of the company. Alfa and Jeep are the largest, most critical elements in our plan for growth. We must sell over 5 million vehicles in 2015.’

On consolidation

‘There is without doubt the need for consolidation within the industry. If you spend a billion euros on a car that doesn’t deliver the margins you wanted, you can get into trouble pretty quickly. The longer I stay in the business the more I realise that the cost of execution is well in excess of what a mature industry can afford. We need to share much more than we currently share, but it needs to be embraced in the medium- to long-term without CEO egos getting in the way.’

On emission regs

‘Be in no doubt, we can meet the regulations – we can make a truck comply – but I think there’s an argument that we should slow down the speed with which these regulations are introduced. I’m not trying to minimise the objectives, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps we need to revise our expectations in terms of the speed of the roll-out.’

On suggestions we’re heading for another crash

‘We’re miles away from the excess that caused such damage in 2008/2009 – I don’t see a repeat of that.’

On electrification

‘It’s inevitable – we’re not going to stop this.’

On car sharing and fractional ownership

‘Threats to the future of car ownership have been exaggerated in my opinion – owning a car is a very personal relationship.’

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three