Sergio Marchionne, the former chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, died on Wednesday at age 66. “Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man, and friend is gone,” FCA Chairman John Elkann and a member of Fiat’s founding Agnelli family, said in a statement.
Michael Manley, the former head of Jeep Brand, was named Marchionne’s successor over the weekend after FCA announced the sudden resignation of Marchionne due to health reasons.
Manley will follow through with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 business strategy established on June 1, a plan that includes forming its captive finance arm, FCA said in a statement released Saturday.
With a company insider taking the helm, the replacement further solidifies that no strategic plans will change, Jack Micenko, bank and auto finance analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, told Auto Finance News. “Marchionne was a dynamic leader, but the decision to form a captive runs much broader and deeper than just one person,” he said.
The bigger question, Micenko said, is to ask, “Does this have an impact on FCA and Santander’s negotiation around what the value [of Chrysler Capital] will be?” While there is an active dialogue between FCA and Santander regarding what Chrysler Capital is worth, Micenko anticipates that the change in leadership won’t derail the negotiation process.
Micenko previously told AFN that he estimates the Chrysler Capital portfolio is worth $1.2 billion, even though Santander Consumer holds $40 billion in outstandings, about $15 billion of which is related to Chrysler.
Marchionne is credited with the merging of Fiat and Chrysler — saving both companies from bankruptcy in 2009 following the Great Recession — one of his most notable accomplishments. Under his leadership, the company turned around as a profitable global automaker.
This story has been updated following the announcement of Marchionne’s death.1 - Reader Likes This Post