Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has long advocated that auto industry players work together to avoid wasting money developing the same technologies. Now، the automaker is interested in forming a technical partnership with Hyundai.
“We already buy components from [Hyundai]…let’s see if we can agree on other points، especially for the development of transmissions and hydrogen،” Marchionne told reporters last week، reports Reuters. However، he said there was “nothing to announce for the moment.”
It’s unclear what a potential partnership will entail. Hyundai has a foothold in hydrogen technology and is preparing a next-generation fuel cell SUV، while FCA is behind the game in this area.
“We welcome the interest from other automakers in our advanced transmissions and hydrogen-powered technologies،” Hyundai told Bloomberg.
FCA has already formed partnerships on other types of technologies. FCA is working with BMW، Intel، and Magna on a flexible platform for self-driving cars. The company also has a partnership with Waymo to provide Pacificas that the tech company can use to test its self-driving system.
A few years ago، Marchionne approached General Motors about the idea of a merger. Later، he said he expected to be approached by VW to discuss a potential link-up. This year، he said he’s putting a merger on hold to focus on flushing out the company’s debt، which would help make it more attractive to potential partners in the future. FCA hopes to become cash-positive by the end of 2018.
When asked whether the potential collaboration between FCA and Hyundai could result in a merger، Marchionne said، “I don’t believe so.”
Now that Ferrari has become its own entity، some wonder whether Alfa Romeo and Maserati will undergo a similar separation from FCA. Marchionne said this would not be a possibility “for many years.”