ROME (Reuters) – The chief executive of newly-created Stellantis said he does not rule out M&A operations for the carmaker, although he signalled that the company is now focused on implementing its merger, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday.
Stellantis, which is home to 14 brands, including Opel, Jeep, Ram and Maserati, was forged from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-owner PSA.
The long-awaited $52 billion merger between the Italian-American and French companies was completed in mid-January.
“I do not want to open to speculation, we will see. For the moment Stellantis is concentrated on focusing on itself and on what surrounds it,” CEO Carlos Tavares told the Italian daily in an interview, when asked whether he would consider any extraordinary operations for the world’s fourth-largest carmaker.
Tavares added that M&A operations would be taken into consideration only if they represented a way to reach “more quickly a sufficient scale to support growth process”.
With Europe and the United States as its top markets, the carmaker needs to revive its lagging fortunes in China.
Tavares on Wednesday told analysts in a post-earnings call that Stellantis would not “stay still” in China, but added that it was premature to comment on different scenarios the company was preparing in the country.
The chief executive said the group did not want to limit the growth capacity of its robotics unit Comau, adding that it was supporting its management and would “then wait to see what will happen”.
Formerly part of Fiat Chrysler, Comau was set to be spun off from Stellantis but the group has never set out a timeline for the deal.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti, additional reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, Editing by Maria Pia Quaglia and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)