TURIN, Italy May 29 Italian carmaker Fiat
will not buy a stake in Mazda Motor, and will
move forward soon with plans to up its stake in U.S. automaker
Chrysler to over 60 percent.
"We have no plan to buy a stake in Mazda," Fiat Chairman
John Elkann said on the sidelines of the annual shareholder
meeting of Exor, the Agnelli family's investment
company through which it controls Fiat and Chrysler.
Alliances allow carmakers to share the costs of developing
new vehicles and keep pricing competitive as well as helping
them gain a foothold in new regions, although they can be
fraught with difficulties.
Mazda and Fiat announced last week they would join forces to
make new versions of their most famous sports cars, the MX-5 and
the Alfa Romeo Spider.
The move sparked speculation the partnership could be
expanded over time, although both played down the possibility of
an equity alliance.
Fiat, which owns 58.5 percent in Chrysler, and plans to buy
a further 3 percent starting in July, is expected to complete
its global turnaround by adding an Asian partner, despite a
troubled history with former Chinese partners.
Fiat eventually wants to increase its Chrysler stake to 100
percent, and Elkann on Tuesday declined to provide details about
the timing of the move.
Asked whether Exor was making contingency plans for a future
exit of Greece from the euro zone, Elkann said that the holding
company had not changed its strategy.
Exor holds 30.4 percent of capital goods group Fiat
Industrial, 15 percent of certification company SGS
, 30.5 percent of carmaker Fiat (which controls
Chrysler) and 69.5 percent of Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate
"We are continuing with our strategy of simplifying our
investment portfolio and extending our geographical reach,"
Elkann told journalists after Exor's annual shareholder meeting,
adding he had not taken any special measures in the light of the
The company said on May 4 it had appointed Shahriar
Tadjbakhsh as chief operating officer to take charge of its
efforts to streamline its investment portfolio and concentrate
on companies with a global reach.