In what could be a defining moment in recent history for both automakers, General Motors has filed a racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The accusation is that FCA used 2015 United Auto Workers contract negotiations to financially harm GM, under the guidance of the late CEO Sergio Marchionne.
According to legal filings, GM is accusing FCA of trying to bury the company in billions of dollars in additional labor costs. To accomplish this, GM alleges its competitor bought the support of “certain former UAW officials.”
The ultimate goal, according to this lawsuit, was to weaken GM to the point it would want to merge with FCA just to survive. At one point Marchionne did openly court GM, but he also tried to strike merger agreements with a handful of other automakers. Of course, the CEO’s efforts didn’t lead to any new agreements.
It’s not exactly the legacy Marchionne’s disciples wanted since it could tarnish the man’s reputation and put the company he worked hard to guide through a difficult merger at risk.
A resolution to these allegations could be a long way off. Considering FCA is in merger negotiations with French auto giant PSA, there’s no telling if this lawsuit could have a cooling effect on that process.
Source: Automotive News