MILAN Dec 6 The head of Fiat FIA.MI sees car
makers being forced to merge in order to survive the onslaught
of the global crisis, leaving their industry with only six big
players, according to a report on Saturday.
"The only way for companies to survive is if they make more
than 5.5 million cars per year," Chief Executive Sergio
Marchionne was quoted as saying to the European edition of
Automotive News, an industry publication.
"As far as mass-producers are concerned, we're going to end
up with one American house, one German of size; one
French-Japanese, maybe with an extension in the U.S.; one in
Japan; one in China and one other potential European player," he
Marchionne said he expected the consolidation to transpire
in the next two years.
"This business is going to be completely different," he
said. "It cannot continue as it did in the past. Independence in
this business is no longer sustainable."
Marchionne's published comments were in an extract of a
story to come out in the publication's latest issue next week.
The extract was part of an email obtained by Reuters
highlighting the major stories of the coming issue.
(Reporting by Gilles Castonguay; Editing by Ron Askew)