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Is FCA selling Magneti Marelli?

by Bill Cawthon on

Bloomberg News reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is discussing selling some or all of its Magneti Marelli parts unit to Samsung Electronics.


Bloomberg’s sources claimed that the discussions are in at advanced stage, and the price could be around $3 billion.

Both companies would benefit from the sale. Samsung wants Magneti Marelli’s lighting and telematics business to help diversify out of consumer electronics (and possibly boost sales of its Android phones), while FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne wants cash to help pay down debt (currently standing at $5.6 billion). The down-side is that FCA’s car brands could lose their close relationship with one of the most prestigious auto lighting makers.

There’s already an arm’s-length relationship between the companies: Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae Yong is on the board of Exor, which holds a controlling interest in FCA.

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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