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February 7, 2011

US: Fiat chief concerned over Indian JV

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is unhappy with the carmaker's joint venture with Tata Motors in India and plans to take steps to change the relationship.

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is unhappy with the carmaker’s joint venture with Tata Motors in India and plans to take steps to change the relationship.

Marchionne said that the current relationship is not working. “We gave to them the right to distribute and in some areas that is not working. We need to re-dimension how we do this deal.”

The Fiat chief was speaking to the Wall Street Journal at the North American Dealers’ Association convention in San Francisco and followed comments by Tata chief executive Carl-Peter Forster last week that he was “not happy” with the rate of Fiat sales and was considering ways to restructure the partnership.

Tata Motors, which owns 50% of Fiat India Automobiles, sold 15,231 Fiat cars in the April to December 2010 period, a fall of 15% year on year.

Marchionne also took a swipe at Chrysler’s former partner Daimler, saying the reason the partnership between the two companies didn’t work was due to the German company’s disrespect for Chrysler’s products.

DaimlerChrysler existed for nine years before the US company was sold to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in 2007.

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