Fiat’s Marchionne criticizes remarks from head of Ferrari

Fiat's Marchionne criticizes remarks from head of Ferrari

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne criticized remarks made by Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo about his future.

Playing down speculation that he was departing Ferrari, Montezemolo said he gave his “availability to shareholders” to serve as Ferrari’s chief for another three years. He said on Saturday he would be the one to announce any news regarding his future “if and when” that was necessary.

Italian newspapers including Il Messaggero reported in the last few weeks that he might be named to head Italian airline Alitalia

Marchionne took exception to Montezemolo’s remarks, saying “nobody should ever get it through the head that you could threaten or suggest that the house should be in trouble if you don’t” run the company.

Marchionne said a change of Ferrari’s top manager “is not on the agenda” but added: “Everybody is needed, nobody is indispensable.”

Ferrari, which is 90 percent owned by Fiat, is a key component of Marchionne’s plans to expand in luxury cars to better compete with Volkswagen, which owns Lamborghini among its stable of high-end nameplates.

Montezemolo has run Ferrari for more than 20 years and wants to limit the brand’s volumes to safeguard exclusivity.

Marchionne also said that the Ferrari’s Formula One team has had “unacceptable” performances in the high-profile racing circuit in recent years.

Marchionne said Ferrari has the best drivers in F1 and should return to winning on the circuit. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso failed to finish Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza and teammate Kimi Raikkonen placed ninth.

Ferrari ranks fourth in the F1 team standings.