DETROIT – General Motors accused Fiat Chrysler of bribing United Auto Worker union officials to get more favorable contract terms from the UAW in a lawsuit.
According to the suit, FCA and its former CEO Sergio Marchionne hurt GM in the bargaining process through bribery.
FCA responded to the suit, saying, “FCA believes General Motors’ claims are nothing more than a merit-less attempt to divert attention from that company’s own challenges.”
The case comes at a time when the auto industry is seeing major change due to electric and autonomous vehicles. AutoTrader analyst Michelle Krebs said questions about companies’ survival creates a more dog-eat-dog environment.
“Automakers have always been competitive but they kind of protected the industry. In this, they’re really going at each other," Krebs said.
Krebs also said the case casts a dark shadow over Marchionne’s legacy.
Former federal prosecutor Keith Corbett said the case won’t be an easy one because it can’t just be bribery between a few selfish people.
“If you can tie approval of the CEO to the activities in question, it’s going to go a long way towards making General Motor’s case much better,” he said.
The lawsuit will most likely take years to be decided.