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SM: FCA is not political

by David Zatz on

Sergio Marchionne is staying firmly out of politics, trying to make safe passage in an increasingly partisan society.  While he refused to be baited by political questions, he did show some frustration at uncertainty in future trade policies.

His first reaction to be asked about FCA’s reaction to possible border tariffs was, “We will adjust whenever the rules get changed, if they get changed. We have no choice in this. We’re not policy setters. … If tomorrow morning President-elect Trump decides to impose border tariffs on anything that comes up from Mexico then we’ll have to adjust.”

Frustration did come through at times: “It does take time to adjust to this new set of rules that he’s proposing, which I guess we’re speculating he’s proposing. He’s just been tweeting about them. I’m not sure exactly what the rules are. …  Let’s put everything back on the back burner for the time being. I need clarity. I think we all need clarity. … We’re not the only ones that need clarity.”

Overall, Marchionne’s attitude can be summed up in his own words:

All of you have been persistent in asking the question on what are you going to do about President-elect Trump? And the answer is we’re not going to do anything about President-elect Trump, because he was elected. He’s the [future] President of the United States. We will respond to whatever it is that he determines as being relevant policy to the United States and we will adapt, and life will go on. There’s no used trying to moralize this. There’s nothing to moralize. We’re car makers.

For his words in full context, see our transcript.


David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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