A tribute to Sergio Marcchionne

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Sofia Calafatis

The Italian-Canadian community and everyone in the car world is in mourning. One of the most influential and active men in recent years, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and President of Ferrari, died at the age of 66. The man who turned the fortune of his companies and made public Ferrari, suffered an embolism during the surgery. "Unfortunately, what we feared happened, Sergio Marchionne, a man and a friend, is gone," said FCA President, John Elkann, in a statement. He will be replaced at the top of FCA by Mike Manley, who until now headed the Jeep and Ram brands. Ferrari will now be lead by Louis Carey Camilleri, former president of Phillip Morris.

Born in Italy, Marchionne grew up in Canada and joined Fiat's board of directors in 2003. Although he did not come from the auto industry, he gained a reputation as a leader who could turn the companies around. He demonstrated this successfully after being named CEO of Fiat the following year.

He also managed to straighten Fiat. In 2005, he signed an agreement with General Motors - which had taken a stake in the company a few years earlier - by getting Fiat a $ 2 billion divorce settlement in the process. Investment in the brand followed. Then, as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, he discovered a golden opportunity. Marchionne realized that the future seemed increasingly bleak for smaller automakers, telling Automotive News Europe that "independence in this business is no longer sustainable, it takes at least 5.5 million to six million of cars a year to make money.

Chrysler was the weakest of the three US automakers after the failure of its partnership with Germany's Daimler-Benz. So in 2009, Fiat took a 20 percent stake in Chrysler for nothing more than the promise to keep the company alive. Together, the companies would have the scale to survive and, in 2012, FCA was created when the Italian company increased its stake in Chrysler.

FCA has two jewels in its crown: Jeep and Ferrari are two of the most famous and iconic emblems in the industry. While Jeep remains a member of the FCA empire, Ferrari was listed on the stock market in 2015 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Marchionne was a famous workhorse, often sleeping on his private plane between meetings in the United States and Europe. Sober, he was almost always seen wearing a black sweater and black jeans, having decided that life was easier when you did not have to think about what to wear each day. Just as characteristic as his appearance was his frank manner; In 2014, he urged customers not to buy the electric Fiat 500e because it was developed solely to meet California emissions standards, and FCA lost $ 14,000 on every car sold.

The whole team of Longue Pointe wants to pay tribute to this great man!

Categories: People, News

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