Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has been lobbying a number of major automakers to enter merger talks for several years, so far without success. The FCA CEO made at least two vigorous efforts to bring General Motors to the table in 2015, with the Detroit-based automaker ultimately turning FCA down.
The latest target of Marchionne’s merger advances is Volkswagen, with the FCA CEO suggesting at the Geneva motor show this week that Volkswagen could bid for a merger with Fiat Chrysler amid a wave of consolidation: PSA agreed to purchase Opel/Vauxhall from GM at the start of the week, and Renault Nissan took over troubled Mitsubishi earlier in 2016.
“We are not ready for talks about anything,” Mueller told Reuters. “I haven’t seen Marchionne for months.
“We have other problems,” he added.
VW has faced a number of major expenditures over the last few months relating to its diesel crisis. The automaker recently secured a settlement over the issue of 3.0-liter V6 vehicles in the U.S., resulting in VW buying back thousands of vehicles. VW Automotive Group has needed to allocate additional funds to the diesel issue in the past year, with the total now believed to exceed $25 billion in the U.S. alone.
FCA’s repeated merger attempts have been driven by a need to achieve economies of scale and share rapidly rising development costs, with Marchionne not ruling out trying to persuade GM once again to merge.