It was all the rage, decades ago — automakers splitting off their parts units, seeking both higher efficiency (since the parts division now had to compete, and report on a separate P&L) and greater sales to other automakers. Delco, Acustar, and Autolite joined Denso in having a large degree of independence.
Fiat bucked the trend, with its ownership of Magnetic Marelli, Comau, and Teksid; Magneti Marelli made parts, Comau made robotics, and Teksid did engine castings. Now, though, things are changing. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is spinning off Magneti Marelli into a new Dutch entity, MM Srl, which will contain racing-related electronics and electrical parts. The move should be finished within one year.
The rest of the division, including a valuable automotive lighting group, is remaining for the moment, but there have been many rumors about the sale of the lighting business, as well as the rest of Magneti Marelli. FCA appears to be ready to sell its component businesses, but only if it gets the deal they want.
The name “Magneti Marelli” is a mouthful, but FCA seems to be moving towards the global use of “Mopar” for aftermarket and factory replacement parts. (Based on a Reuters story)
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.