The impact of emerging technologies on the automotive sector stands as a key issue in the eyes of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ CEO Sergio Marchionne who highlights electrification and autonomy as the next areas that could dramatically shape the industry.
Marchionne opened up to Automobile Magazine about his stance on the fast-paced changes taking place, and how his company intends to play along. Perhaps most surprising is his take on the current trend for automakers to add mobility services to their product portfolios.
“Contrary to what some of my colleagues believe, we are not in the mobility business. We don’t move people around.” Marchionne declared, firing a shot at companies like GM, Ford, Daimler and BMW who have all partnered with, or created mobility services division to act in similar ways to on-demand ride hailing and car-share services like Uber and GoGet.
“At the end of the day, we are only building the tools that allow people to be mobile,” he explained, comparing the current trend towards mobility with previous attempts by automakers to buy rental car fleets as a way of ensure in-built demand, despite negative effects on other areas of their business.
Connected technologies also play a role in the future of Marchionne's vision for FCA, but again he sees collaboration with specialist firms, rather than in-house development as the right approach to bring more services to the range.
“We have no skills to provide such services. But there are partners out there who would love to share their skills. Now this could be a business model that works,” he explained to Automobile.
Describing himself as “open to technology” Marchionne sees no reason why the types of firms industry analysts describe as ‘disruptors’ can’t assist in providing technology solutions that fall outside the scope of traditional automobile engineering.
“The goal is job sharing on a high level. We build the cars, they build the technology that goes into them.” He said.
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