Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller says the auto conglomerate is open to discussing a possible merger with Fiat Chrysler.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said last week that he has “no doubt,” VW would be interested in merging with FCA following PSA Peugeot Citroen’s purchase of General Motors’ Opel brand. PSA’s acquisition of Opel cemented the French car maker as the Europe’s second largest behind VW, putting on the pressure on the company to expand its already wide-reaching business. VW said it was too busy with “other problems,” to consider a merger, mainly the massive fines it’s facing for violating global emissions regulations, but now it appears Mueller’s changed his stance on the matter.
“I am not ruling out a conversation,” Mueller told Reuters. “It would be very helpful if Mr. Marchionne were to communicate his considerations to me too and not just to you.”
The latter half of that statement relates to Marchionne’s constant chatter about a merger in the media. The outspoken executive has also mentioned an FCA-GM merger several times to journalists, despite GM CEO Marry Barra turning the proposition down, and his VW-FCA merger suggestion was apparently the first Mueller had heard of such an idea. Nevertheless, Mueller seems open to beginning the talks. Perhaps the groundwork for a VW-FCA merger has officially been laid.