Following reports of the death of longtime Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, auto industry leaders recall the entrepreneur's uncanny mindset and his role in transforming the industry. Marchionne was 66.
New FCA CEO Mike Manley, during the automaker's second-quarter conference call: "This morning's news is heartbreaking. ... There is no doubt that Sergio was a very special unique man and there is no doubt that he's going to be sorely missed."
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford: "Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker. His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time."
General Motors CEO Mary Barra: "We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne's family and friends. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss."
Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche, who once ran Chrysler, tweeted: "The auto industry has lost a real giant."
NADA Chairman and FCA dealer Wes Lutz: “NADA is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne was a force of nature and a true visionary within our industry.
"Franchised dealers will always be grateful for his unrelenting drive and incredible focus, which not only helped steer one of the world’s most iconic brands through some pretty dark days, but who had the foresight to help position that brand for success and growth in a changing market. He will leave a lasting legacy, and will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.”
GM CFO Chuck Stevens: "We're all saddened by the news this morning on Sergio Marchionne's passing. We had a deep amount of respect for Sergio and what he's met for the industry."
Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi: "Our entire team at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi were saddened to learn of the death of Sergio Marchionne. At this difficult time, we would like to express our sympathies to the Marchionne family, to our colleagues at Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari and CNH Industrial."
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sergio Marchionne. On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Lagonda, @astonmartin I would like to extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles @fiat."
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.: “I am very sad about Sergio Marchionne. He was brilliant, focused, strategic, intense and helped Michigan and the industry I love. Sergio taught me over the years many things and he was a friend, not afraid to yell, but then could laugh so ever hard. Our community should celebrate his life and be thankful for his many contributions.”
Jerry Dias, president of Canada's Unifor union: "Sad news this morning on the loss of #SergioMarchionne at the age of 66. Sergio was a true visionary who leaves behind a strong legacy @fcagroup. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."
Klaus Busse, head of design at FCA, wrote on Twitter: “Design reviews with him weren’t easy… if he did not like what he saw he made sure you knew (and in hindsighthe he was always right). When he liked it, it came with a cliffhanger “what the f… is this? - it looks amazing!”. Will miss him. RIP @SergioMarchionne”
Cox Automotive: “All of us at Cox Automotive were saddened to hear this news from John Elkann, chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: “Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass, Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.” RIP, Sergio.”
McLaren: “All at McLaren are saddened to hear that Sergio Marchionne has passed away. Our respects and condolences to his family and the whole @ScuderiaFerrari team.”
Red Bull Racing: “Condolences to the family and friends of Sergio Marchionne. A great competitor on and off track @scuderiaferrari. Riposi in pace.”
UAW President Gary Jones: “During the industry’s dark days of the recession, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM were at a perilous point. Working with the UAW members, the FCA rebirth was borne when many doubted it would come. As in all labor-management relationships, there were clashes and disagreements.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sergio’s family. And when history looks back at his legacy, despite bumps and bruises along the way, in the end, the sun wasn’t setting when he left the company, the sun was rising. That will long be remembered.”
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, vice president of the FCA department: “UAW FCA members recognize that Sergio Marchionne helped build a growing company that provides job stability and certainty for their families every day.
"We may not have always agreed. We may have had some tussles along the way at the bargaining table. But Sergio Marchionne never abandoned his commitment to the collective bargaining process even when he disagreed with membership. For our members the success of his vision changed people’s lives. That is a rich legacy.”
The New York Stock Exchange: "We mourn the passing of auto industry legend Sergio Marchionne. He helped multiple companies (Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, CNH Industrial) tap the public markets, creating thousands of jobs across the globe. Here he is pictured in 2015, the day he took Ferrari public. #RIPSergio"