Auto industry loses 'real giant' after Marchionne dies aged 66

Heather Diaz
July 28, 2018

Looking forward, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirmed 2018 guidance for adjusted net profit and revised for other metrics.

His successor at the helm of the sprawling FCA, Manley, "is no Marchionne", Dudenhoeffer said.

Fiat Chrysler's share price has climbed by 223 per cent since the businesses merged in 2014.

The poor results took analysts by surprise. "The company was in such bad shape, being stripped of any kind of resources by the previous owners".

More importantly, under Sergio's leadership, some key programs were greenlighted - including the introduction of the Pentastar V6 family and the supercharged 6.2-liter engine in the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

On July 21 Ferrari reported that it had "learned with deep sadness during its meeting today that chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne will be unable to return to work".

Marchionne, who was stood down as Ferrari chairman only on Saturday, died in a Zurich hospital, aged 66, following complications from shoulder surgery. No details were released.

In 2009, Fiat made a deal with Chrysler that queued up Fiat to become the primary stakeholder in the American company, and Marchionne was installed as CEO.

The auto manufacturer lowered some of its 2018 targets after quarterly results revealed net profits of 754 million euros ($882 million), well below analysts' expectations of almost 1.3 billion euros, according to data company Factset.

Born in Chieti, Italy, on June 17, 1952, Marchionne came to the auto industry as an outsider when he left SGS S.A., a health inspection firm, to head Italian automaker Fiat in 2004.

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And FCA's holding company Exor, which is owned by the Agnelli family, announced his death on Wednesday.

Despite the emotional tone of the call, business is business.

"He taught us that the only question that's worth asking oneself at the end of every day is whether we have been able to change something for the better, whether we have been able to make a difference". "An affectionate hug for the family of Sergio Marchionne". Marchionne has been an adversary whose value we recognize.

While he started small with limited industrial alliances, his ambitions soon grew. He took over after Umberto Agnelli, whose family founded Fiat in 1899, died of cancer. Manley said the production rate of the "DT" Ram 1500 had reached 85 per cent, allowing FCA to incorporate the full line of optional trims and available powertrains, and said it would be at full production in the fourth quarter.

Marchionne, who described himself as a corporate fixer, was Fiat's fifth CEO in less than two years when he took over.

While FCA is the most-affected by his loss, Marchionne's passing is a loss for the global automotive industry.

The CEO was known for his five-year plans, the most recent of which the automaker unveiled in June. He responded by expressing confidence in his hand-picked team that helped draft the targets.

Marchionne's penchant for numbers was always clear in his attentive quarterly presentations.

North America continued its role as profit-driver, generating 85 per cent of the company's €1.65bn earnings before interest and taxes.

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