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An era ends with FCA merger

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat shareholders today approved the merger of Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The margin was well above the required two-thirds majority with only 8% of shareholders opposing the merger.

The only remaining barrier is the possibility that all the shareholders voting against the merger could exercise their buyout rights, which would exceed the €500 million (~$671 million) cap on funding for buyouts.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the newly merged company has been counting on approval of the merger and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange to provide the needed cash for his aggressive five-year plan.

The vote means the end of Fiat’s history as an Italian automaker just 21 days after the company celebrated the 115th anniversary of its founding in Turin in 1899.

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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