Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has acknowledged that the company talks with companies outside the car sector about possible collaborations.
“We have parallel conversations with many players who are outside the auto sector at the moment,” Marchionne told Reuters.
“We can’t go into these discussions with a precise idea of what FCA wants. We’re learning, just as they are learning,” he said. “And the solution will be a shared solution and developed together with them, not developed by us alone.”
Speculation has mounted that Silicon Valley companies – such as Google and Apple – could work with established auto industry companies as they address the personal mobility area. Marchionne has spoken out about the need for collaborations before, but that has usually been in the context of established auto companies working together to share technologies or platforms and gain scale economies. Last year he was rebuffed by General Motors. Now, it appears, he is also reaching out to potential new entrants to the sector.
Last year, Marchionne embraked on an extensive tour of Silicon Valley, something he described as an important learning exercise. “This industry in general has to open up to disruptors,” Marchionne said then.”I think we have been late to the party.”
Reuters also reported that Marchionne also indicated that any partner for FCA would have to be strong where FCA is weakest, in China. He also acknowledged the difficulties the company is currently experiencing in Latin America, especially Brazil, which is in recession.