Fiat heir Lapo Elkann (pictured above) agrees with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne that big mergers are inevitable in the auto industry’s near future. Elkann thinks the rapid pace of digital development forces companies to work together.

"I believe that there will be fewer brands," Elkann predicted during the Automotive News Europe Congress. "Brands will unite and more brands will work hand in hand."

Elkann’s sentiment is practically identical to Marchionne’s outlook for the industry. In 2015, the FCA boss tried to make that prediction into a reality by attempting a merger with General Motors. He even went so far as emailing CEO Mary Barra directly about the offer, but the deal never materialized. Marchionne then sniffed around for other potential partners, like PSA Group, but he still didn't find an attractive prospect.

Earlier in 2016, Marchionne made a much smaller deal happen when he signed a contract to supply Google with 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans. The tech giant announced plans to convert the vehicles into autonomous cars. However, the two businesses agreed not to share any tech.

Elkann honed his automotive industry expertise by previously working for Fiat, and his brother John is FCA chairman. Their great-great-grandfather Giovanni Agnelli co-founded the Italian automaker. Elkann now runs Garage Italia Customs, which creates one-off versions mostly of FCA vehicles.

Source: Automotive News Europe

Gallery: Lapo Elkann Ferrari 458 Italia

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