Fiat Chrysler was recently fined a record $105 million dollars for multiple recall violations. This has complicated the goal of the company's CEO Sergio Marchionne to merge with another automaker.
Business columnist Daniel Howes with the Detroit News says Marchionne has "made no secret of the fact that he's most interested in doing a deal with General Motors."
But GM doesn't share his goals, and they've already officially announced they are not interested in such a deal.
So Marchionne will continue to search for a partner, and Howes says the Jeep brand may make them attractive to others, including Volkswagen AG and Renault-Nissan.
But partnering with either of these companies would create unnecessary positions or even plants.
Regardless of who they may merge with, Howes says concerns about that overlap are going unanswered.
Howes admits those questions might be slightly premature without a deal fully in place, but "I think it's fair to raise these questions and sort of look at what the reality is."
Marchionne has said he doesn't want to endanger blue-collar workers. But he's avoided the specifics of how he plans to do this, and he's provided little information about the fate of other workers' positions.
Howes calls Marchionne the auto industry's "shrewdest dealmaker out there."
And with that title, Marchionne will be sure to continue to work toward a merger.