The FCA-Renault tandem would have expanded the French automaker's global alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi that outsold any single automaker in the world.
Before sales chief Reid Bigland sued FCA over withheld incentive compensation, he said the merger would create a world leader from electric vehicle technologies to premium brands, SUVs, pickups and light commercial vehicles.
Dealers, when a merger seemed imminent, were optimistic about the prospect of a more efficient FCA that could work with Renault on electrification.
One analyst asked if the merger talk had been a distraction, but Manley rebuffed that possibility.
"We have said and we'll continue to say that we are open to opportunity, and that remains true. But I think our people — and hopefully our shareholders and stakeholders — recognize that if we do something, we will only do it in their interests and a strong belief that we're creating value for everybody," Manley said during the call. He added: "I don't think it necessarily causes a day-to-day distraction in the business."
Manley argued that tie-ups will be necessary for companies that have a lot of exposure to Europe.
"In Europe, particular partnerships, cooperations and even mergers are going to be necessary going forward to maintain some people's profitability in the marketplace, particularly if you're very, very heavily exposed to the European market," Manley said. "And you've seen a number of companies announce different cooperations or announced that they're open to cooperations or partnerships or platform sharing."