Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group, will visit Korea for the first time after taking office. This is to meet high ranking officials at LG group in a bid to boost the partnerships. It is the first meeting after Samsung Electronics gave up the takeover of Magneti Marelli, a parts making subsidiary of FCA, attracting attention.
According to industry sources on November 29, Marchionne will visit the Twin Tower in Yeouido on the 30th and have a meeting with top executives of the group. After that, he will meet CEOs of the group’s major subsidiaries, such as LG Electronics and LG Chem. This is the first time for him to visit Korea.
After visiting the LG headquarters, Marchionne plans to visit LG Chem’s Ochang plant and the LG Electronics’ vehicle components division headquarters in Cheong-na, Incheon, by helicopter.
Currently, LG is supplying battery packs and battery management systems for the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan, maintaining the partnership. Industry watchers expect that the cooperation between the two companies will expand with Marchionne's visit to Korea.
Some say that his visit has something to do with the acquisition of Magneti Marelli. An official from LG Group said, “Samsung finally chose Harman after weighing Harman and Magneti Marelli. So, FCA, which seeks to sell the parts making subsidiary, and top executives of LG Group, which focuses on the automotive electronic business, have decided to have meetings.”
Magneti Marelli designs and produces infotainment, telematics, lighting and suspension systems and it is one of the world’s top 30 car components producers. LG shows high interest in the infotainment and telematics sectors now.
FCA is actively seeking to sell Magneti Marelli that is suffering from financial problems. When the group can’t find a new owner, it is considering the plans to spin off Magneti Marelli like Ferrari and push ahead with its initial public offering (IPO) in 2018 in order to expand capital. In fact, FCA span off Ferrari and list the company on the New York Stock Exchange in October last year for capital expansion. An official from the industry said, “We shall have to see whether LG will be able to make a big bet to acquire Magneti Marelli at the moment when it doesn’t have enough cash. As Samsung has secured technology in the short period of time by taking over Harman, it is the time for LG to make a brilliant move.”