Fiat Group SpA, the corporate parent of the Fiat, Ferrari, and Maserati brands (among others), released a statement on Sunday detailing that the group is in talks with GM’s European operations about purchasing the whole shebang. In addition, the Fiat Group may spin-off Fiat Automotive, combine them with the GM Europe units, and also with the newly acquired stake in Chrysler to create a new corporate entity, which at least one source reports would have a potential revenue stream topping $100 billion.A Fiat mega-company would have the potential to completely shake-up the universe of European automakers, which fits into Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne’s vision of Fiat becoming the largest automaker in Europe. In addition, this is wonderful news for GM, which has been desperately trying to sell ailing Swedish marque Saab. While GM seems to want to keep Opel (and it’s British twin, Vauxhall), Opel’s own fiscal troubles combined with parent GM’s own dire straights seem to point to a sale. Is this a good thing for Europe? It’s hard to say – Fiat’s core brands, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati have all thrived under Fiat’s ownership. In fact, Maserati and Alfa Romeo have undertaken somewhat of a renaissance – take the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which created a huge buzz in the US despite not being sold here. Opel and Saab need some inspiration, and also some sales figures, so an educated guess says that a Fiat merger would be a good thing. If Fiat acquires Saab, and works some of the Maserati magic on the brand, it could be another vector for US consumers to see Fiat-based vehicles. Hey, with fusion cuisine now a popular choice, who says a Scandanavian-Italian combo won’t fly? Gnocchi with ludafisk, anyone?
[Source: Detroit Free Press]