Marchionne said that he has done the math, and the potential gains are way too good to simply ignore, and “his board of directors has no choice but to put pressure on GM to begin discussions now.”
He believes that if the two companies merge, they could make $30 billion a year. Arndt Ellinghorst, the head of global automotive research at Evercore, confirms that those profits are realistic. Marchionne says that “there’s far too much upside in a merger of FCA and GM to let a deal go undone, or at least unexplored.”
Mary Barra has refused to meet with Marchionne. FCA has seen some financial troubles lately, and some GM executives see this move as Marchionne using their company to get out of a rough patch. One high-ranking executive asked, “Why should [GM] bail out FCA?”
Marchionne’s push for a merger has been referred to as a hostile takeover bid. The FCA CEO responded by saying:
Not hostile. There are varying degrees of hugs. I can hug you nicely, I can hug you tightly, I can hug you like a bear, I can really hug you.
This quote may explain why Barra would be hesitant to meet with him.