The Agnelli family showed their approval yesterday for Fiat's much publicised deal with Chrysler.
Sixth-generation vice-chairman John Elkann (pictured) is Fiat's controlling shareholder. He gave an insight into the family's vision for Fiat at a book signing he was attending yesterday. "We have always repeated that it's important for the auto industry to consolidate, above all in the medium and long term. Fiat has expressed its intention to take part in this process, and we (as the Agnelli family) support this process and will try to do a good job, one step at a time," said Elkann, who is also the chairman of the Agnelli family-controlled investment company Exor.
The Italy-based company will take a 20% share in the troubled US car manufacturer in exchange for technology and access to Fiat's distribution network.
Fiat's non-family CEO Sergio Marchionne will head the new-look Chrysler, which will begin operating immediately. "This is a very significant day, not only for Chrysler and its dedicated employees, who have persevered through a great deal of uncertainty during the past year, but for the global automotive industry as a whole," said Marchionne.
This agreement will double Fiat's global scale to about four million cars, and their stake in the business could be raised to 35% with an option to take control of the group in 2013.
Elkann also said: "We're all very happy and satisfied with what happened today. Everything turned out well thanks to the incredible job done by Marchionne and his staff."
Fiat's share prices jumped 3.8% yesterday and the latest available figures show Fiat has revenues of €59.8 billion. Exor, the Agnelli's investment company, recorded revenues of €2.6 billion in January 2009.