Fiat Chrysler’s ebullient chief executive Sergio Marchionne lit a fuse under the global car industry four years ago. His 2015 presentation, Confessions of a Capital Junkie, spelt out what many had long suspected, but had never encountered in such blunt detail.
Car-making, said Marchionne, was trapped in an addictive and value-destroying cycle of burning capital. The only way out was for manufacturers to join forces through giant mergers.
“It is about choosing between mediocrity or fundamentally changing the paradigm for the industry,” said Marchionne, who died last July, aged 66.
It has been a slow burn, but the car industry’s prophet is posthumously getting his wish. The merger talks between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Renault, revealed last week, suggest that the industry is waking…