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Sans Opel, Fiat may still seek partner

Posted Tuesday, Jun 2, 2009, 11:08 am in Employee News

After a failed bid for General Motors Corp.’s Opel unit, Fiat SpA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne plans to focus his attention on restructuring the Italian car maker’s U.S. partner, Chrysler LLC, as it emerges from bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Behind the scenes, however, Fiat is expected to keep hunting for another partner—ideally in Europe—that can give it scale in an industry dominated by bigger rivals and bogged down by an excess of production capacity, the Journal said.

Six months ago, Mr. Marchionne set out to double Fiat’s production to around 5.5 million cars, compared with the 2 million it made last year, as a way to wring greater cost efficiency out of the money Fiat invests in bringing new models from the drawing board to the showroom, the paper said. As part of the strategy, the Italian company forged a deal with Chrysler in April and then spent the past month bidding for Opel, the story said. (Wall Street Journal)
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