FCA doesn't have a viable economic model for electric cars, according to its top executive.
Almost every major player in the automotive industry is looking forward to embracing electrification in the coming years. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is reluctantly following behind, but its top executive still argues full electric cars don't make financial sense.
"We still don't have a viable economic model for delivering an electric car," FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told The Street in an interview.
FCA only sells one electric model, the 500e. It's a compliance car developed strictly to please regulators in California. Marchionne famously urged motorists not to buy one because Fiat loses a large amount of money on every example it sells.
Everyone agrees electric cars are incredibly expensive to develop. Tesla, the electrification movement's poster child, has shrugged off the financial risk and continues to look forward to thick profit margins several years down the road. Marchionne doesn't believe that will happen, though.
"As much as I like Elon Musk, and he's a good friend and actually he's done a phenomenal job of marketing Tesla, I remain unconvinced of a ... economic viability of the model that he's pitching," he opined.
FCA is nonetheless believed to be in the early stages of developing a full electric car. It won't be a mainstream model aimed at Tesla's Model 3 or the Chevrolet Bolt; instead, insiders point to a battery-powered sports car with a Maserati emblem.