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Elkann: Fiat doesn’t need more partners

by Bill Cawthon on

John Elkann, 34, the newly appointed chairman of Fiat S.p.A. and grandson of former Fiat chairman Giovanni Agnelli, told reporters that the company is not looking for any new partners.

“We have a strong relationship with Chrysler and that is what we are actively working on,” said Elkann at the annual meeting of Exor S.p.A., the Agnelli family firm that is Fiat’s largest shareholder.

After Fiat completes the spinoff of its heavy truck and agricultural equipment units into a new company, Fiat Industrial, Elkann added Exor plans to remain the largest shareholder in both companies. He did say the family firm might dilute its holdings if it saw a good opportunity for growth in other fields, like real estate.

Speaking of the Agnelli family, Elkann said, “We would rather be smaller shareholders in a bigger Fiat than block Fiat from becoming bigger.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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