Is there a possibility of Mercedes taking over Fiat’s factory in Kragujevac? The reason why the media are speculating about this option lies in the fact that a delegation from Mercedes has visited the Kragujevac factory. Although, there are no available details as to how many Mercedes officials came to Kragujevac and the reason why they did so, the media were quick to report that Mercedes could be eyeing up Fiat’s factory in Serbia.
So, why should the German carmaker be interested only in taking over the Kragujevac factory instead of the entire Fiat Group considering the size of Mercedes?
What is the underlying reason for executives from Mercedes coming to Serbia? We can confirm that they had visited the Kragujevac factory, but these were Mercedes’ executives stationed in Hungary and the possible reason why they came to Kragujevac was to get acquainted with the technical and technological solutions in the production process in Fiat’s plant in Serbia which is a rather common practice in automobile industry.
Media have also been speculating about another option – that of Hyundai negotiating about acquiring a share in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. These speculations were fueled by the reports in South Korean and American media, including the reputable Forbes magazine.
It was Forbes magazine that quoted the CEO of Fiat Chrysler (FCA), Sergio Marchionne who said that he did not think that Fiat would be able to thrive on its own, especially as the demands of costly technology climb. “I never close any doors. I may shamelessly try and knock again … on the GM door or any door if I thought it was a good thing for the business. Absolutely, without even blinking,” Marchionne told reporters at the Geneva car show.
Why Hyundai? A merged Hyundai-FCA would make it the largest auto manufacturer in the world, with the companies combined having sold a total of 11.5 million vehicles last year. In comparison, Volkswagen was the largest manufacturer in 2016 with 10.3 million sales, followed by Toyota with 10.2 million and GM with 10 million.
The two companies would also supplement each other’s model ranges well. Hyundai’s lineup features mostly small- to mid-size cars. Not having much SUV selection or any trucks has likely hurt their U.S. sales. On the flip side, FCA has essentially abandoned small to mid-size cars in the U.S., relying on strong Jeep and Dodge Ram truck sales for its success. A merger would fill the gaps in each company’s product line where they’re weakest.
(Danas, Forbes, 03.10.2017)
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