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Marchionne says he'll likely step aside from Chrysler in 2015 or 2016

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday hinted that he will be stepping aside from the helm of the U.S. automaker within five years.

During a question-and-answer session at the 2011 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., the 59-year-old executive said Chrysler's future plans "will be up to the guy after me--after 2015 or maybe a year later…. There will be a Chrysler after me."

Marchionne currently is CEO of both Chrysler and its controlling shareholder, Fiat S.p.A. Over the last few weeks, he has begun integrating the management teams of the two companies while retaining oversight of North America.

Earlier Wednesday, Marchionne said Chrysler should have little trouble reaching tough new fuel-economy requirements for 2025.

Speaking during a live radio program, Marchionne also said he expected smooth contract negotiations with the UAW.

"If anybody starts any type of confrontational process, we're going to undo everything," he said.

Dressed in a black golf shirt instead of his trademark sweater, Marchionne said the auto industry has the engineers and suppliers to meet U.S. mileage regulations calling for 54.5 mpg by 2025. He called the challenge "very doable."

By David Barkholz and Jason Stein- Automotive News