Partnering in the global auto industry: the Fiat-GM strategic alliance

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 2, Number 3-4, p.335-352 (2002)



GM and Fiat have formed a strategic industrial alliance, creating an important partnership for the companies in two of the world’s largest automotive markets: Europe and Latin America. Observers think the alliance promises opportunities to create value for both Fiat and GM shareholders through significant synergies in such areas as parts cost reduction, optimisation of activities regarding powertrain modules, efficiency in financial service operations, cross-sharing of automotive technologies, common platforms and architectures. From the financial standpoint, GM and Fiat remain independent from one another and will continue to compete in markets around the world, even if GM has acquired a 20% stake in Fiat in exchange for, approximately, a 5% share of GM outstanding stocks. This article analyses the details of this operation, describes what has been done to date in terms of streamlining and synergies seeking in the two major areas of the alliance (powertrain and purchasing) and evaluates its impact, from the strategic and organisational perspectives, on the two partners. The article also focuses on the possible future evolution of the alliance, and tries to assess if shared ownership of assets fosters or hinders organisational learning and performance improvement processes. © 2002 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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