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Hyundai Motor denies possible technical partnership with FCA

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s leading automotive company, on Sunday rejected Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne’s comments that the two are discussing about a technical partnership.

“Hyundai is not is in talks with FCA over a partnership on hydrogen propulsion,” the spokesperson of Hyundai Motor told The Korea Herald.

Marchionne said at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy on Saturday, local time, “There is the potential of a technical partnership with Hyundai, which already supplies some components and transmissions for the US.“

”Let’s see if we can agree on other points, especially for the development of transmissions and hydrogen,“ he said.

Marchionne confirmed the two are not likely to merge.

(Photo by Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
(Photo by Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Despite Hyundai’s repeated denial, reports of the Korean automaker’s possible purchase of FCA sparked August this year, as Hyundai could bolster consumer awareness in the US and Europe. FCA, the world‘s seventh-largest automaker, could benefit from the merger with restructuring efforts.

In a report published September this year, Lee Jae-il, an analyst in charge of automobiles at Eugene Investment & Securities, said “Hyundai is denying the merger, but the need to acquire a company is higher than ever due to the crisis in the Chinese and US markets.“

Hyundai Motor‘s sales in the US have been dealt a blow due to weak SUV portfolio.

The company sold some 565,000 units in the US, down 13 percent on-year, between January and October this year. Its operating profit dropped 16.4 percent on-year to 2.5 trillion won in the first half of this year.

Italian-controlled automaker FCA sold 4.1 million units worldwide in 2016. It also owns auto brands Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and more.

FCA has also sought mergers with US auto giant GM and German automaker Volkswagen and Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor. 
By Kim Bo-gyung (